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Published On: Thu, Feb 13th, 2020

Trump’s Mideast peace plan

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U.S. President Donald Trump gestures while speaking to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during their bilateral breakfast, Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The African Union (UN) and Arab League (AL) both have rejected a new plan put forward by the United States for resolving the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Mideast. It means President Donald Tramp’s peace plan was dead on arrival. He unveiled the 80-page plan Jan 28, aiming to limit the sovereignty of a future Palestinian state. The ceremony was at the White House and it coincided with visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided capital,” while claiming that the Palestine capital will include areas of East Jerusalem.

Reacting to the so called new peace plan, African Union Commission’s Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said, Sunday, the US plan was devised without consulting Palestinians and violated existing AU and UN resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The case of Palestine is the most flagrant example of the fragility of the international situation,” he said. “The American-Israeli plan which is called the ‘deal of the century’ has been prepared out of any consultations and also in the absence of those who are mainly concerned.” He spoke during the opening of the 33rd AU summit held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. “It violates the UN resolution and those of the AU and is trampling on the rights of the Palestinian people. Because of this the peace plan is heightening the tensions in the region and beyond.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, on his own part, has called the plan the “slap of the century” because it allows Israel to claim sovereignty over certain areas of the occupied West Bank, including Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the AL secretary general, said “the Arab League highly and constantly appreciates the principled position of the AU in support of the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to end the Israeli occupation of their territory and their independent state.” He said he was “confident that Africa will maintain its established commitment in standing with the struggle of the Palestinian people in their rejection of this unjust deal, as was articulated by the Palestinian leadership, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and the European Union.”

In response to the US plan, the Palestinian National Authority earlier this month informed Israel and the United States it would “cut all relations” with them. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye who attended the AU summit also called on the international community to reject the peace plan.

It is not surprising that the Trump plan has been rejected by all, except the US and Israel. This is so because the US is not a neutral arbiter in the conflict. Its military and economic powers put it in a good stead to stop Israeli impunity in the occupied territories. Instead, the US has used those resources to prop up the Israeli war machine. It supplies the fighter jets used by the Israeli military to bomb and kill defenceless Palestinians.

The second negative was pointed out by Josep Borrell, the high representative of the European Union (EU) for foreign affairs and security policy. He said last week that the US Middle East peace plan departed from “internationally agreed parameters.” To build a just and lasting peace, the unresolved final status issues, including issues related to borders, the status of Jerusalem, security and the refugee question, must be decided through direct negotiations between both parties, Borrell said in a statement. “In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967. Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged,” he warned

This is what the Trump plan deserves – a warning, not an endorsement.

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