Thirty-seven former officials from European Union member states have signed a letter calling for the rejection of the so-called ‘deal of the century’ if it is unfair to the Palestinians. The deal is being put together by the Trump administration in Washington.
The letter called on the EU to stick by the principle of support for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine. Although the signatories stressed their preference for working in tandem with the US, the letter cast doubt over the details of the much-vaunted deal.
“We are convinced that a plan that reduces Palestinian statehood to an entity devoid of sovereignty, territorial contiguity and economic viability would severely compound the failure of previous peace-making efforts,” said the former officials. They criticised US President Donald Trump’s administration for its “disturbing indifference” to the expansion of illegal settlements, which are backed by recently re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Former British Labour Party foreign secretaries David Miliband and Jack Straw as well as six former prime ministers are among the signatories. “Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories are sliding into a one-state reality of unequal rights,” they added. “This cannot continue.”
The peace plan put forward by the US reportedly does away with Palestinian statehood altogether, though Trump has stressed that compromises would have to be made on both sides.
Last Tuesday, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in an interview, “If the American administration understood that the idea of a Palestinian state has no justification, feasibility or chance, this is significant news.”
The peace plan is rumoured to be due to be unveiled on Nakba Day in May, the day when Palestinians commemorate the ethnic cleansing of their land and almost one million Palestinians were forced to flee their homes to make way for the creation of the state of Israel.