Deal of the Century a 'good starting point': Kushner

Deal of the Century will be 'good starting point': Kushner
3 min read
03 May, 2019
Jared Kushner has said the long-awaited Israel Palestine peace plan, due to be announced in June, will be a "good starting point”.
Jared Kushner said 'two state' will not be mentioned in the long-awaited peace plan [AFP/Getty]

Son-in-law and senior advisor to US President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, said the Middle East peace plan - known as the "Deal of the Century" - would be a "good starting point" on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"What we will be able to put together is a solution that we believe is a good starting point for the political issues and then an outline for what can be done to help these people start living a better life," Kushner told the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The full details of the plan will be revealed at the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in June, Kushner, who has been working on the place for almost two years, announced earlier this month.

Details of the plan are still secret and it has been unclear whether the plan would call for a two-state solution.

"If you say two state, it means one thing to the Israelis, it means one things to the Palestinians. So we said, you know, let's just not say it," Kushner said at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Thursday according to Twitter reports.

On Tuesday, a Lebanese newspaper reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was offered $10 billion by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to accept Washington's still-secret Israel-Palestine peace deal.

Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt denied rumours last week that the peace plan will include a union between Palestine and Jordan.

It had previously been rumoured that the US peace deal would propose land swaps between Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

While Palestinian leaders have repeatedly called for the establishment of an independent state in the West Bank and the currently besieged Gaza Strip, election promises made by re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have further complicated matters.

Netanyahu promised to annex illegal settlements in the West Bank in the run up to recent parliamentary elections that secured the incumbent Prime Minister with a fourth consecutive term.

With settlements, considered illegal under international law, dotted across the entirety of the West Bank, their annexation by Israel would destroy already shaky hopes for the territorial continuity of a future Palestinian state.

Both Palestinians and Israelis claim a unified Jerusalem as their capital, but previous negotiations have threatened to relegate the capital of a future Palestinian state to East Jerusalem, currently occupied by Israel and claimed as half of its own capital, or Abu Dis, a neighbouring town in the West Bank.

Trump's 2017 decision to recognise Jerusalem, both east and west, as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy to the city was condemned by both Palestinians and the international community, and signalled that a Trump administration-brokered peace plan may reject Palestinian claims over the city.

Trump also recognised Israel's annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights last month in a move widely condemned by the international community.

Palestinian politicians have said that such decisions mean Trump cannot be an "honest broker" in any peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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