Trump unveils Middle East peace plan, hosts Netanyahu, Gantz

Trump unveils Middle East peace plan, hosts Netanyahu, Gantz

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President Donald Trump unveiled details of his administration’s long-stalled plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians on Tuesday, though the proposal’s critics warned before its release it has little chance of success because of its pro-Israel slant

Trump’s plan is intended to defuse decades of hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians. In a surprise move, the initiative called for a “two-state” solution – an independent Palestine sitting alongside Israel sharing a capital of East Jerusalem. A “two-state” solution has been a hallmark of Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives for years, but before the plan’s release, there was speculation Trump might omit it. 

Details about the initiative’s economic proposals, including $50 billion in infrastructure spending and investment over 10 years for the Palestinian territories and neighbors Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, have been previously announced. 

The plan’s political aspects have been a closely guarded secret. Its release, after three years in the making, comes as Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief political rival, Benny Gantz, at the White House to discuss the plan. It was not clear whether an invitation was extended to Palestinian leaders. 

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Trump described his plan as a “historic breakthrough” and said he wrote to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, saying territory set aside for the Palestinian state would remain open for a “transition” period of four years in what amounts to a freeze in Israeli settlement construction. 

He said the deal, outlined in an 80-page document, was a “win-win” for Israelis and Palestinians. The plan would more than double the territory under Palestinian control. It recognizes Israeli sovereignty over major settlement blocs in the West Bank, a scenario many Palestinians will find difficult to accept. The plan would limit Palestinians to specific parts of East Jerusalem and leave Israel in sole charge of holy sites that are sacred to both sides. 

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