While the US administration is yet to release details of what US President, Donald Trump has called the “deal of the century”, Israeli sources have claimed that the American President will ask Israel to withdraw from four Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.
According to the Jerusalem Post reports, Trump will demand that Israel make this “painful concession” and transfer control of the four neighborhoods – Jebl Mukabar, Issawiya, Shuafat and Abu Dis – to the Palestinians so that the territory could become the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The demand, according to the Post, was communicated by US officials to the Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman during his visit to Washington last week.
Wow, big news from Jerusalem Post: Sources say Trump will ask Israel to withdraw from 4 east J'lem neighborhoods https://t.co/gXennm748J
— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) May 4, 2018
The news comes as the US prepares to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, a decision that has been universally condemned. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel threatened to jeopardize the entire peace process.
Following the decision, which was seen as an endorsement of the Israeli narrative, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would refuse any offer made by the Americans.
“We refused to see Mr. Pence twice. We have declared our position and we don’t accept an American role in unilaterally controlling the peace process. To us, Trump is irrelevant, whether he announces the deal of the century or not.” https://t.co/d7SR065IJ7
— Shibley Telhami (@ShibleyTelhami) April 30, 2018
While details of the plan have been sketchy at best, the Palestinian Authority has confirmed that Abu Dis was offered as a future Palestinian capital. The Saudis along with the Americans have been putting pressure on Abbas to endorse Trump’s plan, which is being formulated by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump’s adviser Jason Greenblatt, and the US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
Full details of Trump’s plan are expected to be unveiled shortly after the embassy move. In the meantime, US officials approached by the Washington Post, categorically denied the report saying that President Trump’s plan has not yet been completed but has entered its final stages of development.
The March of Return offers a real chance to undermine the international standing of the Israeli state and to stop the normalisation processhttps://t.co/tMRaFrx9Rc
— lamjed labidi (@lamola) April 26, 2018
There is further speculation that the US will try to sweeten the deal for the Israelis by promising full support in the event of a widespread conflict with Iran or Syria.
The US administration, according to the Post, has told Tel Aviv it would supply the Israeli army with significant support, including advanced weaponry, if a war broke out with Iran, even if the war is instigated by Israel itself.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)