Trump is expected to detail Jared Kushner’s peace plan with both Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz in a Washington meeting on Monday, amid global doubts about its substance and timing.
As Trump is under an impeachment trial, Netanyahu is facing three indictments for corruption and an uncertain campaign for re-election. Washington invited both Israeli leaders to hear the plan ahead of a March 2 election so that both candidates will be onboard in advance.
The choreography is interpreted as a distraction for both Trump and Netanyahu.
The Palestinian prime minister called on Monday for world powers to boycott the initiative. “This is a plan to protect Trump from impeachment and protect Netanyahu from prison. It is not a Middle East peace plan,” Mohammed Shtayyeh told a cabinet meeting.
The official rolling out of the peace plan is expected Tuesday, although it is uncertain whether an actual document will be released. On the same day in Israel, there is a planned discussion in Israel’s parliament about Netanyahu’s indictments.
Few political aspects of the proposal have been disclosed, apart from an economic conference last summer that sought to raise money from Gulf countries to fund it. The plan was drafted by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with input from the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a vocal supporter of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israeli media, citing unnamed Israeli officials, have reported that the measures would be extremely favourable to the country, allowing it to annex much of the Palestinian territories, including Jewish settlements, and all of contested Jerusalem. The Palestinians may be granted some form of self-rule but under tight restrictions.
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is expected to clearly reject any Trump initiatives, which Palestinians perceive as an attempt to bully and bribe them to give up long held demands for a state and a resolution for Palestinian refugees. They fear that the U.S. and Israel could adapt and implement the agreement without their cooperation.
The leader of Hamas, the militant group that is in power in the Gaza Strip, also warned that Trump’s plan would not pass, and could lead to violence.
More on this story at The Guardian.