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White House to Release Mideast Peace Plan Tuesday, Trump Says Palestinians will Ultimately Agree to Peace

01-27-2020
TrumpNetanyahu_2
President Donald Trump listens to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

The White House is gearing up to release its long-stalled Middle East peace plan on Tuesday. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz met with President Trump Monday in separate meetings. 

The last Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed back in 2014. But the president today said getting both sides to agree to a plan is important for the region. 

"This is a plan that is very important to peace in the Middle East," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "No matter where I went they say Israel and the Palestinians need to make peace before you can really have peace in the Middle East. People have been working on this for many years. We're relatively close, but we need to get other people to agree with it also."

The President said even though the Palestinians have already rejected his proposed Mideast peace deal, he believes they will ultimately come around and accept it as a blueprint for peace.

"It's something they should want," Trump said in the Oval Office with Netanyahu. "They probably won't want it initially. I think in the end they will. I think in the end they're going to want it. It's very good for them."

"We'll see what happens," he said. "Without them, we don't do the deal. That's OK. ... We think that there is a very good chance that they're going to want this."

President Trump said he and Netanyahu will hold a press conference at 12 noon on Tuesday to lay out the details of the peace plan.

The Israeli leaders' meetings with Trump come just a month before Netanyahu and Gantz are set to face off in national elections for the third time in less than a year. 

As CBN News reported, before they left for Washington on Sunday, both men said the meetings and the administration's long-awaited peace plan would make history.

"For the last three years, I've spoken numerous times with President Trump, a huge friend of Israel, and his team, about those essential interests – on our security, on our justice. And I will meet with President Trump tomorrow and on Tuesday. Together with him, we will make history," Netanyahu said.

Gantz has similar hopes for the deal.

"The peace plan devised by President Trump will go down in history as a meaningful landmark mapping the way for the different players in the Middle East to finally move forward towards a historic and regional agreement.

Citing unnamed sources, Israel's Channel 12 reported Thursday that Trump's peace plan calls for Israeli sovereignty throughout Jerusalem and Jewish settlement communities in the West Bank. The administration would reportedly recognize a Palestinian state after the Hamas terror group in Gaza gives up its weapons and the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Channel 12 also reported that the US would give Israel full security control over the Jordan Valley, push for minor land swaps, and negotiate the possible absorption of Palestinian refugees into Israel. The report said if Israel accepts the deal and the Palestinians reject it, Israel has Washington's full backing to begin annexing settlement communities.

"If the announcement of this deal, with these unacceptable formulas, is made, the leadership will announce a series of measures to preserve our legitimate rights, and we will call on Israel to assume its responsibilities as an occupying power," Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said.

He appeared to be referring to previous threats to dissolve the Palestinian Authority, which controls parts of the West Bank. That means Israel will suddenly be responsible for providing basic services to millions of Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Trump said on Twitter that "reports about details and timing of our closely-held peace plan are purely speculative."

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