U.S. Peace Plan? Independent Palestinian State in Gaza, Report Says

YERUSHALAYIM -
Former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. (Meir Vaknin/Flash90)

While still defense minister, Avigdor Liberman revealed details of the peace plan the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is planning to present to Israel and the Palestinians. A report in the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper said that the plan entails recognizing Gaza as an independent Palestinian state, with “Palestines” having civilian and governmental control over currently PA-controlled areas of Yehuda and Shomron – Area A, and parts of Areas B and C.

In a statement, Liberman’s office said that the report “was incorrect.” The report was based on PA sources, the newspaper said. Israel has not commented on it.

According to the report, Liberman met with PA officials on the plan about two weeks before he resigned in November. The plan also discusses Israeli communities in Yehudah and Shomron. According to the plan, Israel will remain the military power in all of the area, with PA-controlled areas given full autonomy. Israel will also control checkpoints in Yehudah and Shomron. Israel will also control most of eastern Yerushalayim, including the Old City.

The plan will also include significant economic assistance for the new state, from the U.S. and other countries. Construction of airports, seaports, and economic incentives such as free trade zones and other benefits are part of the plan.

The plan has not yet been unveiled publicly, and sources in Washington said that its presentation would be further delayed, until Israeli elections take place in April. The PA has said that it will reject the plan in advance, in protest over the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Yerushalayim. In a statement Wednesday, Liberman’s office said that “he has not seen the plan, and as far as we know the Americans have not revealed the details to any Israelis. It is not clear if the plan is even complete yet. This report is incorrect.”