The Middle East peace plan that United States President Barack Obama will unveil soon involves the creation of a Palestinian Authority state by 2011 and the transfer of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem [presumably including the Temple Mount – ed.] to Arab-Muslim sovereignty, Saudi newspaper Al-Ukaz has learned.
According to the report published Sunday in Al-Ukaz, the Obama plan also includes the following elements:
- Some parts of eastern Jerusalem [presumably Neveh Yaakov, Pisgat Ze'ev and the like - ed.] would be transferred to Israeli control.
- There would be an international presence in the Jordan Valley and other parts of Judea and Samaria.
- The Palestinian Authority terror organizations would be disbanded and turn into political parties.
- The large settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria would not be dismantled.
- The fate of smaller Jewish settlement areas would be decided in a three-month-long negotiation period.
A reporter for the Saudi newspaper received the information from Hassan Harisha, the Second Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Authority Parliament. Harisha told him that the U.S. has handed over a draft of the peace proposal to the PA and other Arabs for their perusal.
The plan also calls for Judea and Samaria to be demilitarized and for its airspace to remain under Israel control. Israeli-Palestinian Authority security coordination would be strengthened, and the Palestinian Authority state would not be allowed to strike military treaties with other countries in the region.
An “agreed number” of Arab refugees would be absorbed in the Jordan Valley area and in other parts of Judea and Samaria – especially in the area between Ramallah and Shechem.
An international fund would support the refugees and Israel would release Palestinian Authority prisoners three years after a diplomatic accord is signed.
Will he lay out a blueprint?
The Saudi report notwithstanding, the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl estimated Sunday that Obama will not go so far as to present a blueprint for a peace settlement, despite being urged to do so by several Arab governments.
"As the U.N. General Assembly meets in late September, Obama aims to announce the opening of a new negotiating process between Israelis and Palestinians, along with 'confidence-building' steps by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and a number of Arab governments," the columnist wrote. Obama "will probably lay out at least a partial vision of the two-state settlement that all sides now say they support, and the course that negotiations should take. More significantly, he intends to set an ambitious timetable for completing the peace deal -- something that will please Arabs but may irritate Israel."