Middle East/North Africa

Palestinian prime minister: Trump peace plan meant to ‘finish off’ Palestinian cause

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that President Trump’s not-yet-released Middle East peace plan is meant to “finish off the Palestinian cause.”

“We reject it, and we demand the international community not be a partner to it because it contradicts the basics of international law and inalienable Palestinian rights,” he said at a Cabinet meeting in the West Bank, according to Reuters

“It is nothing but a plan to finish off the Palestinian cause,” he added.

Trump is expected to reveal parts of the plan to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz in Washington on Monday. 

Shtayyeh also accused Trump and Netanyahu of using the plan to distract from their domestic problems. Trump is facing his Senate impeachment trial for allegedly abusing his power and obstructing Congress, and Netanyahu was charged with corruption and has his third national election in a year after failing to form a government. 

“This plan is to protect Trump against being impeached and to protect Netanyahu from going to jail, and it is not a peace plan,” Shtayyeh said.

Palestinian leaders say they were not invited to the Monday meetings in Washington and worry the plan will have a pro-Israel bias and stop them from having an independent state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, Reuters noted. 

Trump had planned to release the peace plan last year but delayed it after Netanyahu could not form a government. A U.S. official told Reuters that Trump wants Netanyahu and Gantz to agree on the plan before making it public. 

Trump is expected to mention the plan during joint remarks with Netanyahu on Tuesday.

The Hill reached out to the White House for comment.

The Trump administration has taken several pro-Israel steps over his presidency, including declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and diminishing hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump Israel Israel Palestinian conflict Jerusalem Middle East peace plan Palestine
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