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Israel media speculates over timing of Trump's 'deal of the century'

November 12, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Palestinians protest against Trump’s deal of the century in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 2 July 2018 [Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images]

With the midterm elections over in the US, Israeli newspapers are speculating about the potential timing for the Trump administration to publicly launch its so-called “deal of the century”.

According to the Jerusalem Post, “the finishing touches are being put on the plan, and it could be rolled out as early as next month or in January.”

However, the paper added, “the US schedule doesn’t seem to match up with Israel’s schedule, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is apparently toying with the idea of moving up the elections, scheduled now for November 2019.”

Since “no one in the coalition believes the government will last until then”, and that Netanyahu is likely “to dissolve the government in the coming months”, the Jerusalem Post notes that “there would be no point in [the US] rolling out a peace deal that Israel will not be able to embrace”.

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For example, “if the plan calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state”, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett could use that “attack Netanyahu, who would be caught in a dilemma”.

“On the one hand, he would be expected to embrace the plan that had been forged by an administration that he claims is the most pro-Israel in American history. But if he does embrace it, he gives ammunition to his political adversaries,” the report continued.

“If, however, Netanyahu distances himself from the plan, this could also have far-reaching implications and create an unprecedented rift between him and Trump.”

Arutz Sheva, meanwhile, cites an unnamed political source who claimed that Israel is still “in the dark concerning everything about the plan”.

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“We gave over our opinion on every issue, and there were detailed discussions. They [the Americans] were told that under no circumstances was Israel going to agree to a plan that did not leave them in full control up to the Jordan River, and this clearly limits the variety of possibilities”.

“On this, we will not compromise, and we’ll fight it if need be,” the source added.

The Arutz Sheva report also suggested that the Trump administration will take into account Israeli elections when deciding the timing of the plan’s publication.