TEL AVIV – The Trump administration’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will likely include U.S. and international recognition of a Palestinian state with a capital in eastern Jerusalem, the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday.
The Old City of Jerusalem will fall under “international protection,” the report claimed, quoting “knowledgeable Arab diplomatic sources” in Paris.
According to the sources, President Donald Trump’s Middle East team will present its plan at an undisclosed date during an international conference to be held in one of the Arab capitals, most likely Cairo, attended by Israeli officials.
The report also said the plan calls for the Palestinians to give up their core demand of the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to reclaim their former homes inside Israeli territory.
While rumors of the purported plan continue to swirl in the Arab world, nothing has been officially confirmed. Still, Palestinian officials have called it the “slap of the century” that no Palestinian would ever accept. Several senior Palestinian Authority officials have wildly claimed that the U.S. administration, together with Israel, is looking to destroy the Palestinian cause and oust its current leadership.
The report also said the large settlement blocs would remain where they are while smaller ones would be transferred elsewhere.
The framework would also see the PA’s security and administrative authorities bolstered in areas A and B — where there are only Palestinian populations — of the West Bank, the report added.
$40 billion in funds will be raised by the U.S. to help establish a Palestinian state. However, the sources stressed to the paper, the money is not intended to “buy” Palestinian compliance.
Responsibility for security in the Gaza Strip would be handled by the Egyptians, according to the report.
Since Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December, the PA has severed ties with the U.S., saying the country can no longer be an impartial broker of the peace process.
Also on Wednesday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that European Union countries would act on behalf of the Palestinians to convince the Trump administration to amend the plan in their favor.
In a separate report Wednesday, Asharq al-Awsat quoted a senior Palestinian official as saying that the PA is locked in “confrontation” with the U.S. over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Speaking during a gathering at the Palestinian embassy in Cairo, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor for International Affairs Nabil Shaath said: “President Mahmoud Abbas is in a position of full confrontation with the United States and Israel in the wake of the Israeli government’s intransigence and the recent US administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer its embassy to it.”
“We will not establish our state but on our national soil. No state in Gaza, no state without Gaza, no state without Jerusalem as the capital, not a capital in Jerusalem, but Jerusalem is the capital,” Shaath added.
Shaath also predicted that within three years “the world ruled by the United States will end and a multilateral leadership will be established.”
“We will be part of this new world,” he added.