EU countries trying to persuade US to amend peace plan, Palestinian FM says
Musa AL SHAER (AFP)
A number of European countries are trying to persuade the United States to amend aspects of its long-anticipated Israel-Palestinian peace proposal before it is unveiled, the Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said Wednesday.
Malki made the revelation while speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, but did not say which EU countries have agreed to engage with the US on the modifications.
Earlier Wednesday, the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat published a report purportedly detailing the widely anticipated plan to be released by the White House.
According to the paper, the United States would ask Palestinians to forsake their hope to re-settle millions of Palestinian refugees living throughout the Middle East to Israel in exchange for recognition of Palestine as a state.
The peace plan, which US President Donald Trump has hailed as the "deal of the century", would also propose international recognition of the major Israeli settlement blocks in the West Bank.
Under international law, all Israeli settlements built beyond the UN sanctioned Green Line are illegal, but Israeli law consider most of them legal while outlawing (and yet often tolerating) the so-called "outposts".
The US-sponsored plan would "relocate" settlements considered to be blatantly at stake with international positions on the conflict, the report in the Arab newspaper said.
The Old City of Jerusalem, historically one of the thorniest of issues in contentions between Israel and the Palestinian, would allegedly be placed under international custody under the new plan.
While Jerusalem has been already nominated capital of the state of Israel by the Trump administration last December, with plans to operate the relocation of the embassy there in May, the new plan would allegedly recognize the Eastern parts of the Holy City as capital of the Palestinian state.
The Asharq Al-Awsat report, which quotes anonymous diplomatic sources and comes as the last of a series of previous speculations on the American peace plan, also says Israel and Egypt would remain responsible for the security of the West Bank and Gaza respectively.
The peace plan would be launched at the presence of Israeli envoys in an Arab capital, which could potentially the Cairo or Amman, and the Palestinians would be promised up to 40 billion dollars in funds to relaunch own state institutions.
In a latest show of distrust towards the Palestinian leadership, The United States have frozen over half of their contribution to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), from $125 million dollars to a mere $60 million.
In a harshly worded tweet after the move in January, the The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) said the administration was “targeting the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people and depriving the refugees of the right to education, health, shelter and a dignified life.”
Ever since Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December, Palestinian leaders have said they cannot consider the United States as a peace mediator anymore.
At a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) meeting in January, Abbas ridiculed Trump's promise to bring about "the deal of the century" saying he rather expected a "slap of the century" from the staunchly pro-Israeli US administration.
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The Pal have NO intention to accept anything. They want a Judenrein entity in lieu of IL. They count on the EU to prolong the stalemate.