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Deal or No Deal? Israelis, Palestinians React to Peace Plan

01-31-2020
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JERUSALEM, Israel – President Donald Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ continues to generate reaction among both Palestinians and Israelis. 

Hundreds of Palestinians protested this week in the Jordan Valley, an area the peace plan allows Israel to annex. For Israelis, this region provides a vital strategic buffer protecting their eastern border. 

Palestinians also rioted in Bethlehem but if you’re Palestinian and like the deal, you might want to keep it to yourself. The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) released this song by a Hamas-affiliated band and posted on Fatah's – the political arm of the Palestinian Authority – official Facebook page.  It threatens anyone who supports the deal with violence. 

The word from Palestinian leaders in Ramallah or the UN is resistance.  

“It is not acceptable. And those who think that the Palestinian people will evaporate, they will not. Those who think that the Palestinian people will pack up and leave, they will not,” said Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations.

“We have fully agreed to start a plan to confront this scheme, the scheme of Trump and Netanyahu, which aims to end the entire Palestinian national cause.” He continued.

  In an exclusive interview with CBN’s David Brody, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman explained the plan hopes to bypass a corrupt Palestinian leadership. 

“Their business plan is to continue to foment this hatred. But the people in the territories suffer and they do have the internet and when the Bahrain peace plan came out, the economic part of the peace plan, there were more than a million hits within the Palestinian communities. I think we’ll have even more here. We’re translating it into Arabic. They can read it and understand the future this presents to them,” he explained.

Some Jewish leaders in Judea and Samaria remain skeptical of a Palestinian State but others were positive. 

“This gives us the ability to act and live like normal Israeli citizens where we are. President Trump recognizes that Israel will have a right forever and to annex areas like Hebron and Shiloh. He recognized them not only as Israeli security but vital to our national and biblical heritage. In fact, he talked about the fact that both Jews and Christians and everyone all over the world should have the right to visit and enjoy these very important sites in the Holy Land,” said Sondra Oster Baras, Director of Christian Friends of Israel Communities’ (CFOIC) office in Israel.

One key reaction came from the Sunni Arab nations of the Middle East like Oman, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Middle East expert Joel Rosenberg has met many of their leaders. 

“They see it as positive, applauding President Trump. They weren’t condemning, throwing up their hands, saying this is ridiculous. And they were urging the Palestinian leadership and (saying) come back to the table, take this plan seriously and negotiate,” said Rosenberg.

These Arab states and the Trump administration see the Deal of the Century as an opportunity for the Palestinians. Former Israeli diplomat Abba Eban once said, “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Many hope they don’t miss this one. 

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