In Brief

Reaction: can Donald Trump’s Middle East plan work?

Israel welcomes proposal but Palestinians give it ‘a thousand noes’

US President Donald Trump has proposed a Middle East plan that he claimed was a “realistic two-state solution” but panders to nearly every major Israeli demand and was immediately rejected by Palestinians.

The plan allows Israel to begin annexing all of its settlements in the West Bank with US backing and anticipates the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty after a transition period.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said Jerusalem “will remain Israel's undivided capital,” but claimed that a future Palestinian state would also have a “capital in eastern Jerusalem”. 

Standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said his proposals “could be the last opportunity” for Palestinians.

However, the Palestinians were not present at the announcement. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed the plans as a “conspiracy” and given the proposal “a thousand noes”.

“I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass,” he said.

The ruling Hamas group in Gaza called Trump's statement “aggressive” and said the Jerusalem plan was “nonsense”.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the UAE have released statements welcoming the Trump administration's peace plan.

The Jerusalem Post says the plan is “a seal of approval for Netanyahu’s longtime vision”. Another Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, says Palestinians “must refuse to engage with these fictional negotiations,” describing the plan as a “recipe for war, not peace”.

Referring to Trump’s offer of $50bn investment to launch the Palestinians’ new state, including a high-speed rail link between Gaza and the West Bank, The Times says the proposal “offers $50bn for Palestinians to give up Jerusalem”.

CNN says the plan is “another example of the real estate school of diplomacy that [Jared Kushner] and his father-in-law — both property magnates — keep trying to apply to the most nettlesome global disputes”.

Jeremy Bowen of the BBC says Palestinians will become “afflicted by more anger, despair and hopelessness,” adding: “In a combustible part of the world, that is dangerous. The Trump plan is a gamble.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he welcomed the plan, adding “only the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories can determine whether these proposals can meet the needs and aspirations of the people they represent”.

However, The Guardian, wonders where Israel’s neighbours are among Trump’s proposals. “All that's missing from Trump's Middle East plan is Palestinians,” says The Guardian.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Recommended

Iranian-Israeli tensions mount after strike on Natanz nuclear site
Natanz nuclear enrichment facility
In Depth

Iranian-Israeli tensions mount after strike on Natanz nuclear site

‘Sleazy Access’
Today's newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Sleazy Access’

Woman wants Prince Harry arrested for not marrying her
Tall Tales

Woman wants Prince Harry arrested for not marrying her

How the world reported the UK’s ‘joyful’ lockdown easing
Drinkers outside a pub in Windsor
Global lens

How the world reported the UK’s ‘joyful’ lockdown easing

Popular articles

15 most expensive English towns outside of London
Virginia Water, Surrey
In Depth

15 most expensive English towns outside of London

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 12 April 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 12 April 2021

TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Bryan Cranston stars in Your Honor (Showtime)
In Review

TV crime dramas to watch in 2021