A report in Israeli media said Motzoei Shabbos that the Trump administration is ready to recognize a Palestinian state as a central element of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, that the U.S. will not insist on the evacuation of any settlements or settlers under a permanent accord, and that Washington backs most of Israel’s security demands regarding Yehudah and Shomron.
The Hadashot news report cited these positions as being among the “key principles” of the emerging U.S. peace plan.
According to the report, President Donald Trump intends to offer the Palestinian Authority its own state. The plan will also include land swaps, but not necessarily along the pre-1967 borders.
In addition, the PA will receive hundreds of millions of dollars to allow them to build their economy. Most of the funds will come from Sunni Arab countries, who will encourage PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to accept the offer.
As part of the plan, the U.S. will recognize Israel’s need for security. IDF forces will be stationed along the Jordan River, and, the report said, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is currently fighting to receive full security control of the area.
The U.S. plan would not include expelling Arabs or Jews from their homes. The subject of dividing Yerushalayim – always a sore point in peace talks – has not been discussed.
In keeping with the U.S. plan, discussions regarding moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim, as well as discussions on recognizing Yerushalayim as Israel’s official capital, have been delayed. According to the report, the delay is intended to make it easier for Netanyahu to market the U.S. plan to rightwing politicians and the Israeli public.
The report also quoted Israeli officials saying that Trump and his administration have not decided which party – Israel or the PA – has been responsible for the failure of past negotiations attempts. Therefore, the sources asked that Israel not fight the new plan.
The proposal is to be presented as central to a regional Israeli-Arab peace accord, the report said, and there is slight hope that it might be presented at some kind of international conference.
A White House source quoted by Hadashot news called the report “speculative” and “not necessarily accurate,” and noted that “many ideas” were being examined. The source said the Trump team – including President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner, envoy for the peace process Jason Greenblatt and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman – was taking “a different approach” to previous efforts, and that no artificial deadline would be set for an accord, and no terms would be imposed.
Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman have been heavily involved in a behind-the-scenes process to help President Trump broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, which the president has called the “ultimate deal.”