Trump Peace Plan May Not Wait for Palestinian Thaw

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah attends a session of the International Donor Group for Palestine at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

The Trump administration may not wait for the diplomatic freeze with the Palestinians to thaw before putting forward its Mideast peace plan, according to a report on the Axios news site Thursday.

Senior U.S. officials were quoted as saying that President Trump might unveil the plan even if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is still refusing to come to the negotiating table.

“Since it’s not done, we haven’t decided yet how we are going to put it forward and what happens if one of the sides isn’t ready to come to the table. We are not there yet. But we are very optimistic that all relevant countries who want to support a peace agreement between the two sides are still waiting for our plan, want to work with us and realize we cannot be replaced. Despite all of the false reports about our plan, we are confident it will be beneficial to both sides and both peoples,” the official said.

On Wednesday, White House envoy Jason Greenblatt participated in an emergency meeting of the donor countries to the Palestinian Authority. While there, he shook hands with PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, the first direct contact he’s had with the Palestinians since Trump’s recognition of Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital on December 6 and the subsequent PA boycott of U.S. diplomats.