Palestinians reject Trump’s ‘conspiracy’ Middle East peace plan

Trump Middle East plan: Palestinians reject ‘conspiracy’

Palestinians have dismissed US President Donald Trump’s new Middle East peace plan as a “conspiracy”.

The plan envisages a Palestinian state and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements.

Mr Trump said Jerusalem would remain Israel’s “undivided” capital, but the Palestinian capital would “include areas of East Jerusalem”.

Reacting to Tuesday’s announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Jerusalem was “not for sale”.

“All our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain,” he added.

Thousands of Palestinian protesters held a “day of rage” in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, while the Israeli military deployed reinforcements in the occupied West Bank.

The blueprint, which aims to solve one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, was drafted under the stewardship of President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Standing alongside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his proposals “could be the last opportunity” for Palestinians.

Reports said Mr Netanyahu was planning to press ahead with annexing 30% of the occupied West Bank, with a cabinet vote due on Sunday.

Israel has settled about 400,000 Jews in West Bank settlements, with another 200,000 living in East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

Speaking on Tuesday, he said it was “impossible for any Palestinian, Arab, Muslim or Christian child to accept” a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital.

“We say a thousand times, no, no, no,” he said. “We rejected this deal from the start and our stance was correct.”

The militant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, also rejected the deal which it said aimed “to liquidate the Palestinian national project”.

The UN said it remained committed to a two-state solution based on the boundaries in place before the 1967 war, when Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel “will not miss this opportunity”, Mr Netanyahu said.

“May God bless us all with security, prosperity and peace!” he added.

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a peace deal on the basis of UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements.

The Arab League said it would hold an urgent meeting on Saturday.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged the Palestinians to give the plans “genuine and fair consideration and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations”.

Source: BBC

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