On May 7th, highlights from US President Donald Trump’s fabled “Deal of the Century” for a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, were leaked from Israel’s Foreign Ministry and published by Hebrew-language newspaper Israel Hayom.
Officially, no information has been confirmed and the US will reportedly reveal the deal during the Muslim Ramadan, which will last through June 4th.
The main points that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has come up for the solution are the following:
- It will be a three-side agreement, signed between Israel, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas. The agreement will establish a “New Palestine” state, in the West Bank and Gaza, excluding the Israeli settlements that are internationally considered illegal;
- The settlement blocs (around 62% of the West Bank) will be annexed by Israel and extended to reach isolated settlements. The Jordan Valley will remain a part of Israel. The 65,000 Palestinians living in those areas are unmentioned;
- Jerusalem would not be divided, but will rather be shared as both countries’ capital. Palestinian citizens in Israel will become citizens of “New Palestine,” and the Jerusalem municipality will have full governance over everything short of education which will be under Palestine government control;
- Israelis will not be allowed to buy Palestinian homes and vice versa and no additional areas will be annexed to Jerusalem. The holy sites will be untouched;
- Egypt will provide land to “New Palestine” for an airport, factories, to establish trade and agriculture. No housing will be allowed on those areas. Until an airport and a sea port are constructed, the Palestinians would be allowed to use the Israeli ones;
- All borders between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and Israel would remain open to people and goods;
- “New Palestine” will have two crossings into Jordan, these will be under the control of the “New Palestine” authorities.
- A highway would be built to connect the Gaza Strip to the West Bank 30 metres above Israel. Funding for the project will mainly come from China, which will pay 50% of the cost, with South Korea, Australia, Canada, the US and EU each paying 10% each;
- “New Palestine” will be completely forbidden to form an army and have heavy weapons. It will be allowed to have a police force, armed with light weapons.
- An agreement will be signed, according to which Israel will guarantee the Palestinians’ protection from all outside aggression and will be duly remunerated for the service;
- Following the agreement, Hamas will give up all of its arms, which will be deposited to Egypt. Hamas leaders will be paid salaries from the supporting countries until a new government is formed which should be done within a year of forming the “New Palestine”;
- Palestinian political prisoners would begin being released over three years following the forming of a government.
“New Palestine” would further receive financial support from the US, the Gulf States and the EU. Around US$30 billion will be received by Palestine over five years with additional support for specific development projects like building roads, from Australia, Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
If Hamas or the PLO refuse the deal, the US would allegedly cancel all of its, already limited, financial support to the Palestinians. The US would also reportedly exert pressure on other countries to follow in suit.
If Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas signed the deal, but Hamas refused it, a US-backed military intervention would begin in Gaza until the complete defeat of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
If Israel were to refuse the deal, the US would cease all of its financial support to Tel’Aviv, which amounts to about $3.8 billion per annum.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, on Twitter, claimed that “Hamas must go.” But any actions by Israel, which is ready to act, with the blessing and support of the US and other Arab Gulf States should happen only after the Israeli holidays and Eurovision end.
Hamas must go. Right after our holidays and Eurovision, Israel must evict Hamas from Gaza. The U.S. should back us militarily and diplomatically and, together with Arab states, commit to Gaza’s renewal. Peace in the region is impossible with Hamas in Gaza. Israel is ready to act.
— Michael Oren (@DrMichaelOren) May 5, 2019
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