Trump delaying rollout of Mideast peace plan until after Israeli elections: report

The Trump administration is reportedly planning to wait to unveil its long-awaited plan for Middle East peace until after next month's elections in Israel, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close Trump ally, is seeking reelection.

McClatchy reported Monday that U.S. and Israeli officials do not expect President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE to offer up his administration's proposals for securing an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians until after the April 9 vote.

The delay would likely benefit Netanyahu, who would be spared from going on record about the plan before the election.

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The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Netanyahu was in Washington, D.C., on Monday, where he met with Trump at the White House. The president was asked whether his peace plan would include a separation of Jerusalem between Palestinians and Israelis.

"We’re talking right now. We're talking about this," he said.

The remarks came after Trump signed a proclamation officially declaring U.S. recognition of Israel’s claim over the Golan Heights, reversing decades of American policy regarding the disputed territory between Israel and Syria. 

The announcement offered a boost to Netanyahu, whose reelection bid has been complicated by allegations of corruption and bribery. He has denied wrongdoing.

The Trump administration has promised since its early days to deliver a groundbreaking proposal to ensure peace between Israelis, Palestinians and other groups in the Middle East. However, there have been few specifics about the plan or when it might be made public.

The U.S. ambassador to Israel said in January that the plan would likely not be released for "several months."

White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDemocrats ask OSC to review whether Kushner violated Hatch Act Democrats ask OSC to review whether Kushner violated Hatch Act Financial disclosure form shows Ivanka Trump earned M from DC Trump hotel MORE and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt have taken the lead in peace negotiations, meeting last year with leaders from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt.

Palestinian officials have cut off negotiations, however, over frustrations with the Trump administration's decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.