Trump's peace plan nearly complete

Trump administration has nearly completed Israel-PA peace plan. It will not include commitment to two-state solution.

Elad Benari ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The Trump administration has nearly completed its Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace plan but is still struggling to decide how and when to roll it out, a senior White House official told Reuters on Wednesday.

The initiative, which had been widely expected to be released earlier this year, now looks likely to remain on the shelf until its chief architects - President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt - finalize the details and determine the time is right to unveil it.

While offering few specifics for the plan, the official confirmed to Reuters it would not contain a U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, as the PA had demanded. It will instead stick to Trump’s assertion that he will accept whatever the two sides agree.

The chill between the White House and the PA has affected the peace effort, the official acknowledged, speaking on condition of anonymity.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has refused to consider the Trump administration an honest broker for negotiations since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

PA officials have repeatedly rejected the Trump administration’s peace proposal, claiming it was coordinated with Israel.

The “disconnect” with the PA over Jerusalem “is not a small blip,” the official acknowledged in an interview with Reuters.

Pushing back against critics who say the plan is likely to be biased in favor of Israel, the official said both sides would find parts “they like and they hate.”

Among the still-unresolved questions is what the plan will propose for the future of Jerusalem, the official said.

The official conceded this administration’s efforts might fail too, saying, “It may not work for us either.”

“We are refining it,” the official said of the peace plan. “We are definitely still struggling on Jerusalem ... But we are very close to completing it.”

While insisting the plan is progressing, the senior official told Reuters, “We’re going to look at all the surrounding circumstances and we’re going to decide” when to announce it.

The plan will propose detailed solutions to main disputes: borders, the future of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, the fate of the so-called “Palestinian refugees” and security, according to the report.