US President Donald Trump has presented his diplomatic plan for the Middle East called the Deal of the Century, three years after planning was begun on it. He unveiled the plan at a press conference in the White House, flanked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Under the terms of the plan up to 30% of the West Bank would be annexed by Israel with the remainder forming the basis for an independent and dispersed Palestinian state. Palestinian organizations including Hamas would be required to hand over their weapons including their arsenal of missiles and rockets. Alongside this would be generous economic incentives, details of which were presented at a conference in Bahrain last June - an event boycotted by the Palestinians.
Trump said that Netanyahu had told him that he accepts the plan as a basis for direct negotiations with the Palestinians as had Benny Gantz. Trump added that the plan is an unprecedented step. "This is the first time that Israel has taken the map and pointed to what it is prepared to give up for peace. Netanyahu, this is a courageous step that you have taken."
On Jerusalem he said, "The Israeli capital Jerusalem cannot be divided. This is very important."
He also said, "We won't allow the return of the days when buses were blowing up and explosions in night clubs."
Netanyahu said that Israel was prepared to start immediate negotiations with the Palestinians on the basis of Trump's plan.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 28, 2020
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