US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Jerusalem “will remain Israel’s undivided capital” as he unveiled his Middle East peace plan aimed at solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, describing it as historic and a “giant step” towards peace.
Standing along with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House, Trump proposed a “realistic” two-state solution to solve one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, saying it would bring lasting peace in the Middle East.
He said no Israelis or Palestinians would be uprooted from their homes.
He said that under his vision, Jerusalem “will remain Israel’s undivided, very important capital.” He proposed Palestinian capital in Eastern Jerusalem and that US will set up its embassy there.
“My vision presents a realistic two-state solution,” he said.
Together we can bring a new dawn in the Middle East, Trump said as he urged the Palestinians to accept his deal and bring peace in the region.
Describing his plan as historic and deal of the century, Trump claimed that his proposal has the support of the world leaders in particular those in the region.
Calling it a “historic opportunity” for the Palestinians to achieve an independent state, Trump said he has written to Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in this regard.
No Palestinian official was present at the launch. The ambassadors from three Arab nations — Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — were at the White House.
Palestinians have already rejected the leaked proposals. Thousands of Palestinians protested in the Gaza Strip earlier on Tuesday.
The plan, Trump said, calls for a four-year freeze in Israeli settlement activity, doubling of Palestinian territory.
Asserting that his peace plan will more than double the size of Palestinian territory, Trump said that Palestinian people deserve a far better life” than being trapped in a cycle of terrorism and violence.”
Lamenting “the amount of needless bloodshed and squandered opportunity” in the Middle East, Trump said it’s time for this sad chapter in history to end quickly and end now.
Netanyahu hailed Trump’s plan as ‘historic day’ for Israel. He compared Trump’s Plan with the day to May 14, 1948, when the then President Harry Truman became the first world leader to recognise the State of Israel.
The plan, he said, will strike the “right balance” where other plans have failed.
Unveiling his plan, Trump said, “I was not elected to do small things or shy away from big problems.”
Netanyahu said that he is now willing to negotiate peace with the Palestinians “on the basis” of the US peace.
In the joint address to the media, Trump said he delivered to Netanyahu his “vision for peace, prosperity, and a brighter future” for the Israelis and Palestinians.
This vision for peace is fundamentally different from past proposals. In the past, even the most well-intentioned plans were light on factual details and heavy on conceptual frameworks, he said.
Stating that his 80-page plan “presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.”
Referring to his meeting with Israeli leaders, he said this is the first time Israel has authorised the release of a conceptual map illustrating the territorial compromises it’s willing to make for the cause of peace.
Trump said the US will form a joint committee with Israel to convert the conceptual map into a more detailed and calibrated rendering so that recognition can be immediately achieved.
We will also work to create a contiguous territory within the future Palestinian state for when the conditions for statehood are met, including the firm rejection of terrorism, he added.
The White House later in a statement said that if the Palestinians have concerns with this vision, they should bring them forth in the context of good-faith negotiations with the Israelis and help make progress for the region.
“For the first time in this conflict, Trump has reached an understanding with Israel regarding a map setting forth borders for a two-state solution,” the White House said.
“Trump has been bringing historic enemies in the region closer together, and his actions are promoting normalized relations between Israel and its neighbours,” it said.
“It will be up to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take courageous and bold actions to end the political stalemate, resume negotiations on the basis of this Vision, and make lasting peace and economic prosperity a reality,” the White House said.
If the Palestinians have concerns with this Vision, they should bring them forth in the context of good-faith negotiations with the Israelis and help make progress for the region, it said.
In his remarks, Trump said that his vision incorporates the massive USD 50 billion Peace to Prosperity economic plan, which will spur the Palestinian economy. Under this Vision, Palestinian refugees will be given a choice to live within the future State of Palestine, integrate into the countries where they currently live or resettle in a third country.
He said beyond territory, the plan provides for Palestinian use and management of facilities at the Haifa and Ashdod ports, Palestinian development of a resort area on the north shore of the Dead Sea, and continued Palestinian agricultural activity in the Jordan Valley.