Trump releases long-awaited Middle-East peace plan

Published: 29 Jan 2020 Updated: 29 Jan 2020   

Online Desk

US President Donald Trump has presented his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, promising to keep Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital.

He proposed an independent Palestinian state and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements, reports BBC.

Standing alongside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Mr Trump said his proposals "could be the last opportunity" for Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plans as a "conspiracy".

"I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass," he said in a televised address from Ramallah in the West Bank.

The blueprint, which aims to solve one of the world's longest-running conflicts, was drafted under the stewardship of President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Thousands of Palestinians protested in the Gaza Strip earlier on Tuesday, while the Israeli military deployed reinforcements in the occupied West Bank.

The joint announcement came as both Mr Trump and Mr Netanyahu faced political challenges at home. Mr Trump is the subject of an impeachment trial in the US Senate while the Israeli PM on Tuesday dropped his bid for immunity on corruption charges. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, said that the timing of the announcement was not tied to any political development, adding it had been "fully baked" for some time.

Meanwhile, reports said Mr Netanyahu was planning to press ahead with annexing 30% of the occupied West Bank, with a cabinet vote due on Sunday.

More than 400,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements. Those settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

Mr Friedman said Israel did "not have to wait at all" to move ahead with annexation.

What are Trump's key proposals?

"Today, Israel takes a big step towards peace," Mr Trump told officials and reporters at the White House.

"My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel's security."

The joint announcement came as both Mr Trump and Mr Netanyahu faced political challenges at home. Mr Trump is the subject of an impeachment trial in the US Senate while the Israeli PM on Tuesday dropped his bid for immunity on corruption charges. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, said that the timing of the announcement was not tied to any political development, adding it had been "fully baked" for some time.

Meanwhile, reports said Mr Netanyahu was planning to press ahead with annexing 30% of the occupied West Bank, with a cabinet vote due on Sunday.

More than 400,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements. Those settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

Mr Friedman said Israel did "not have to wait at all" to move ahead with annexation.

What are Trump's key proposals?

"Today, Israel takes a big step towards peace," Mr Trump told officials and reporters at the White House.

"My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel's security."

He also indicated that the West Bank would not be cut in half under the plan.

"We will also work to create a contiguous territory within the future Palestinian state, for when the conditions for statehood are met, including the firm rejection of terrorism," he said.

Israeli officials said Mr Netanyahu would fly to Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the proposals with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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