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Palestine chief negotiator reveals details of Trump peace plan

Image of Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian Authority chief negotiator [file photo]
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian Authority chief negotiator [file photo]

Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has revealed details of the US peace plan to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Erekat presented the plan in a report presented to the Palestinian Central Council meeting on 14-15 January in Ramallah.

The report included 13 items which outline US President Donald Trump’s plan. According to the report, the first item recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and provides for transferring the US embassy to it. According to the report, this means “the end of the issue of Jerusalem”, because no Israeli government will negotiate over Jerusalem after the US administration recognizes it as its capital.

The second item stipulated to establish the Palestinian future capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Media reports speculated in the past that the town of Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, was proposed as capital of the State of Palestine.

Read: ‘The world is creating another Palestine’

The third item says the US administration will approve the annexation of major settlement ‘blocs’ to Israel within two to three months tops.

According to the report, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed to annex 15 per cent of the settlements while Trump proposes 10 per cent.

The fourth item stipulates that the US administration will announce a “common security concept for the State of Israel and the State of Palestine as partners in peace”. The concept includes four points: a demilitarized Palestinian state with a strong police force, the creation of bilateral, regional and international security cooperation with the participation of Jordan, Egypt and Washington, which other countries would be welcome to join. The Israeli forces will maintain their presence along the Jordan River and the central mountains of the West Bank, in order to protect the two states. Finally, Israel will continue to enjoy overriding security responsibility for emergency situations.

Erekat pointed out that the fifth item provides that the Israeli forces will withdraw gradually outside Areas A and B in the West Bank and some territories from Area C. Later the Palestinian state will be announced within those borders

Read: What’s next after the collapse of the two-state project?

Erekat said that the sixth and seventh clauses stipulate the recognition of Israel as a “national homeland for the Jewish people and a Palestinian state as a national homeland for the Palestinian people”.

The ninth item provides that Israel should allocate parts of the ports of Ashdod and Haifa, and Ben Gurion airport for Palestinian use, while Israel maintains security control over those portals.

Item ten in the plan includes the creation of a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip under the sovereignty of Israel.

According to item 11, the Palestinians will manage international crossings however Israel will maintain maximum security control over them.

Article 12 states that “territorial waters, airspace and electromagnetic waves” shall be under Israeli control without prejudicing the needs of the Palestinian state.

Finally, in the thirteenth item, the plan calls for a “just solution to the refugee issue within the Palestinian state”.

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