Tags: Israel | Middle East | Trump Administration | ben caspit | palestinians | peace | abbas

Columnist: Israel, Palestinians Think WH Mideast Initiative Will 'Never Amount to Anything'

Image: Columnist: Israel, Palestinians Think WH Mideast Initiative Will 'Never Amount to Anything'
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump shake hands during a joint news conference at the East Room of the White House last February. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 08 January 2018 09:03 PM

The Trump administration is looking into a decades-old plan involving an exchange of territories by three or more parties, including Israel, Egypt, the West Bank and, possibly, Jordan, as part of its Middle East peace initiative, but Israel and Palestinians expect "it will never amount to anything," writes AL-Monitor's Ben Caspit.

Egypt would cede a piece of the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, shifting the center of power in the future Palestinian state to the Strip rather than the West Bank. The Palestinians would give up territories in the West Bank, "allowing Israel to annex the settlement blocs along with a generous amount of land around them," and Israel in turn would give Egypt a strip of territory along the southern border between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan could also potentially be involved.

"Abbas doesn't want to hear from Trump," Caspit wrote. "He has finally been convinced that the president is little more than a Zionist agent who is working with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to decimate the Palestinian people and incite the entire Middle East against them."

Trump in early December reversed decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, despite warnings it would further drive a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Trump administration is still forging ahead on a peace plan as if nothing has changed, according to the Jerusalem Post.

"A peace process and a credible conclusion to that process can't happen without the U.S. – they know that – and once the plan is revealed, it will speak for itself," a senior White House official said.

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The Trump administration is looking into a decades-old plan involving an exchange of territories by three or more parties, including Israel, Egypt, the West Bank and, possibly, Jordan, as part of its Middle East peace initiative, but Israel and Palestinians expect . . .
ben caspit, palestinians, peace, abbas, jordan, west bank
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2018-03-08
Monday, 08 January 2018 09:03 PM
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