JERUSALEM, Israel – President Donald Trump released his long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan on Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side.
Trump and Netanyahu both characterized it as a “historic” opportunity.
"Together we can bring about a new dawn in the Middle East," said Trump, who also called it "the toughest deal ever to make."
Netanyahu praised Trump’s friendship with Israel and said: “I believe that down the decades, and maybe even down the centuries, we will remember January 28, 2020," Netanyahu continued, saying the plan was "a realistic plan for durable peace."
In the crowd were many pro-Israel supporters and pastors.
Trump’s plan hinges on Palestinians accepting Israel as a Jewish state and renouncing all violence and efforts to destroy their neighbor. The president also said the deal affirms Jerusalem as Israel’s “eternal, undivided” capital.
The plan calls for the creation of the new State of Palestine with sections of eastern Jerusalem as its capital. Trump also said if the Palestinians accept the plan, the United States will open a Palestinian embassy in eastern Jerusalem. The deal more than doubles the territory Palestinians currently hold today, without uprooting anyone – Israelis or Palestinians – from their homes.
The Associated Press reports that the future Palestinian state would consist of the West Bank and Gaza, connected by a combination of above-ground roads and tunnels, according to US officials.
This is what a future State of Palestine can look like, with a capital in parts of East Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/39vw3pPrAL
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2020
The Palestinians have already rejected the proposal, accusing the Trump administration of heavily favoring Israel at the expense of their rights. Thousands of Palestinians protested in the streets of Gaza City and Ramallah chanting “Palestine is not for sale.”
Despite their refusal to meet with US officials, Trump is giving Palestinians four years to consider the proposal and make a decision.
HERE'S A LINK TO THE FULL PLAN FROM THE WHITE HOUSE
One of the most important issues to the Israelis is the West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria) settlement communities. Trump’s plan allows Israel to have control all of the current settlements but puts a four-year freeze on new settlement construction. The plan also recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, a key region on Israel’s eastern border that Israeli leaders say is essential to Israeli security.
Both Netanyahu and his main political challenger in the upcoming March elections, Benny Gantz, have approved of the plan but it is unclear if it will really be implemented considering Palestinians refusal to consider it.
The PLO, Palestinian Authority, and Fatah have all called for a “Day of Rage” and protests in response to the deal. Hamas, the terror group that runs Gaza, also rejected the plan as full of “conspiracies.”
Palestinian leaders are also urging Arab nations to support them in condemning the peace plan.
Turkey and Iran are expected to react negatively to the plan and Egypt and Jordan, the only two Arab nations to have peace treaties with Israel, may not reject it outright. The Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and others may also cautiously welcome the plan.
Oman, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates reportedly helped with the peace plan and Trump thanked them for their involvement.