Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

U.S. Expects some Israeli Criticism of Parts of Middle East Plan

U.S. Expects some Israeli Criticism of Parts of Middle East Plan

Meanwhile, Israel blames Hamas for the instability and rejects the idea that Gaza and the Palestinean territories don't have autonomy.

Erekat added that the USA has accepted Israel's position on the designation of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, as well as the future status of settlements in the West Bank and the question of Palestinian refugees.

"Not ready to unveil it just yet", Heather Nauert, the spokesperson of the department, told reporters at a daily briefing on Thursday afternoon when asked if the new USA peace deal was ready to be presented.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration launched a string of USA funding cuts against the Palestinians to push them back to the negotiating table.

The United States has also cut off aid to the Palestinians and to UNRWA - the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees - and has ordered the PLO's office in Washington shut, further angering Palestinian leaders.

The Israeli Prime Minister shook hands with the PLO leader Yasser Arafat at the White House after signing the historic agreement on Palestinian autonomy in the occupied territories.

Abbas was quoted by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA as saying that the Palestinian people deserve an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, "which will be open for the three main religions".

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But Trump, a foreign policy novice, promised upon taking office to help broker the "ultimate deal" between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jason Greenblatt, a senior US diplomat who had been closely involved in the proposal-making process, told media that the USA negotiators had entered the "pre-launch phase" of the plan.

Trump's move outraged the Palestinians, who have since boycotted Washington's peace efforts, led by the USA president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The recent and recurrent decisions made by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump against the Palestinians and in favor of Israel have proved that Washington's mediating role as a peacemaker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has gone, said Egyptian political experts.

"The Kushner truth and the Netanyahu truth is that Jerusalem is Israel's capital, no right of return to refugees, settlements are legal, no Palestinian state on 1967 (borders) and Gaza must be separated from the West Bank and this is absolutely unacceptable", Erekat said. Last month, support for a two-state solution fell to 43 percent among Israeli Jews and Palestinians in one opinion poll, the weakest in nearly two decades of joint Palestinian-Israeli survey research.

Peace talks between the two sides have been frozen since 2014 due to Israel's settlement expansion policy, which is met by regional and worldwide rejection.

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