Israeli diplomatic officials are optimistic about the contents of President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White head Benny Gantz have been invited to visit the White House next week, where the plan will ostensibly be presented officially.
Trump said that details of the plan would be published before that meeting, set for Tuesday. “It’s a great plan. It’s a plan that really would work,” the President said. “I’d love to be able to do that deal. They say that’s the hardest of all deals. Trump said that the Palestinians had been informed of the plan, saying that it would be “positive” for them as well.
Trump announced the invitation Thursday, as U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence was meeting with Netanyahu in Yerushalayim. Diplomatic officials quoted in Yisrael Hayom said that the Palestinian Authority’s announced boycott of the plan will provide Israel with a “historic opportunity. We are on the edge of a historic event, equivalent in importance to that of the Six Day War, in which Israel’s borders are likely to change – if the government accepts the plan. If Israel imposes sovereignty on the areas that the plan allows, it will essentially mean the end of a Palestinian state, and likely be a death blow to the Palestinian national movement.”
While details of the plan are not known, Israeli diplomats who have been involved in discussions regarding the plan say that Israel is not going to be required to make many more concessions than it has already made. Channel 12 said that the plan includes recognition of Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital, and gives the option for Israeli sovereignty on all the settlement blocs, at the very least.
The plan does not call for the establishment of a Palestinian state at this time, but reserves the option for one to be established in the future – if the Palestinians accept the conditions of the plan, which almost undoubtedly will include recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, something the Palestinian Authority has refused to do until now. Trump said in remarks Thursday night that all details of the plan that have been presented in the media are “rumors.”
Once presented, it will be up to Netanyahu on whether or not to proceed with the tenets of the plan, including whether to declare sovereignty over areas the plan specifies, such as the large settlement blocs. Netanyahu may also choose to wait until after the election to decide on that, the sources said.