US envoy: Palestinian leaders seek to implement peace plan

A Palestinian boy holding his national flag looks at clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel east of Gaza City on May 14, 2018, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. Dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on May 14 as tens of thousands protested and clashes erupted along the Gaza border against the US transfer of its embassy to Jerusalem, after months of global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis over President Donald Trump's decision tossing aside decades of precedent. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMSMAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — US President Donald H. Trump’s envoy to the Middle East accused members of the Palestinian leadership of trying to establish a Trump-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace plan even before it was unveiled.

Greenblatt urged Palestinian officials to wait until they see the details of the plan, saying it was wrong to declare “her death as soon as she arrives.”

In an interview with Reuters, Greenblatt, one of the architects of the plan, described by Trump as a “deal of the century,” rejected Palestinian officials’ denouncement of the expected peace proposals, which they believe will be highly biased to Israel and will strike the goal of a Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted US peace efforts under the leadership of Jared Kushner, the brother-in-law of Trump since late 2017, when the president decided to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Greenblatt and Kouchner are leading a team preparing to put forward the long-awaited plan, expected in June. The two plan to move ahead with the plan, despite deep skepticism among experts about its success after a failed effort backed by Washington over decades. However, the possibility of postponement is always in view of the tension in the Middle East, especially the recent round of violence in the Gaza Strip.

“The Palestinian Authority is trying to create a plan that it did not see,” said Greenblatt, who publicly criticized senior Palestinian officials on Twitter. “The plan may give them something that inspires their enthusiasm and changes their current position … They have to be patient and wait until the plan is announced.”

“Any party that says it (the plan) was born dead and does not give it much attention and hard work will be a missed opportunity,” he told Reuters.

Although the plan’s authors have confirmed that details are known only to a limited number of individuals, Trump’s aides said they would address key political issues in the long-running conflict such as the status of Jerusalem and offer ways to revive the faltering Palestinian economy.

They said they expected Israeli and Palestinian criticism of some of the proposals.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a UN meeting attended by Greenblatt that the United States was apparently formulating a plan for the Palestinians to surrender to Israel rather than a peace agreement, noting that there was no amount of money that could make this acceptable.

– The question of “two states” –

One of the Palestinians’ concerns is whether the plan will fulfill their basic demand for an independent state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

Kouchner, who was a real estate developer before becoming a senior adviser to Trump, declined to say whether the plan included a two-state solution, a central goal of previous peace efforts that had enjoyed considerable international support.

Greenblatt repeated Kouchner remarks a few days ago at a Washington think tank: “We do not use this title, because it means different things to different people. The detailed plan will show what we see as the best solution for both parties. ”

“It was Trump’s plan that brought Jerusalem out of the equation,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh told Reuters. They must return to the resolutions of international legitimacy and all that has been negotiated with previous US administrations. ”

“We are committed to achieving a just and lasting peace based on an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.

Trump sought to rally Arab governments. According to individuals familiar with the discussions, the plan will most likely invite billions of dollars in support to the Palestinians, mostly from the Gulf states.

Some US officials have said unofficially that Saudi Arabia’s Gulf-led involvement with Israel in anti-Iran could give Trump the ability to secure broad Arab support for the plan.

But Greenblatt said that although Israel and Washington’s Arab allies stood in a row against the common enemy of Iran, it was “not the secret mix” to win support from Arab states. “The deal should be suitable for everyone.”

Saudi Arabia has reassured Arab states that it will not support any US plan that does not address key Palestinian concerns.

When asked what he would do if peace efforts failed, Greenblatt said: “These issues are difficult. The conflict is very complex and there are many potential terrorists.”


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