White House, Greenblatt deny reports on peace plan details; PA rejects report, begins role as chairman for Group of 77 at UN and to lobby for full membership; PA: We know that we are going to face a US veto but that won’t prevent us from presenting our application for full UN membership.
Reports surfaced with supposed details of the Trump peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday.
The report claims that in the peace deal, around 90% of the West Bank would be allocated as Palestinian, with annexations of three major Israeli settlements, Ariel, the Etzion Bloc and Ma’ale Adumim. Some larger Israeli settlements would reportedly not be evacuated, but would not be permitted to grow. The report also claims that West Jerusalem would serve as Israel’s capital, with East Jerusalem and its surroundings as a Palestinian capital.
US Special Envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, denied the reports, calling on the media to “listen only to official statements directly from POTUS [President of the United States],” warning that, “Over the coming period, unnamed sources will peddle narratives to the media and others based on motivations that are far from pure. Peddling false, distorted or biased stories to the media is irresponsible and harmful to the process. Israelis and Palestinians deserve better…”
The White House also denied the reports, stating Wednesday, “As in the past, speculation with regards to the content of the plan is not accurate.”
The Trump Administration is expected to reveal its peace plan in the coming months. While details of the deal have been kept confidential, several Arab states, including Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are expected to play significant roles in the future peace process.
As with the majority of reports or developments associated with peace with Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) rejected the reports. A spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, officially rejected the reported peace plan on Wednesday, reiterating that the Palestinians would not accept any deal in which an independent Palestinian state with the entirety of Jerusalem as Palestinian is not offered. He added that “ongoing attempts to find regional and international parties that would cooperate with this plan are failed attempts that will reach a dead end.”
Meanwhile at the United Nations, the Palestinians started their role as chairman of the “Group of 77”, an alliance of 134 developing nations that was created in 1964 by 77 signatory countries. The UN voted to allow the Palestinians special permissions to head the group in October of last year. Abbas referred to the role as “a great responsibility that the State of Palestine will bear with complete humility, sincerity and dedication.” They will hold the position for one year.
The Palestinian Authority additionally reported that it would again seek full membership at the UN, even though the United States would use its veto power to dissolve such efforts if brought to a vote at the Security Council. The PA’s Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, confirmed earlier this week “We know that we are going to face a US veto, but that won’t prevent us from presenting our application for full UN membership.”
The Palestinians last bid for full membership was in 2011 and failed, not even making it to a vote at the UN Security Council.
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