Trump's Deal of the Century 'waste of time': Israeli minister
A top Israeli cabinet minister said US President Donald Trump is wasting his time seeking to push for an Israeli-Palestinian plan, known as the Deal of the Century.
The far-right Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that reaching peace is currently impossible and that Trump should focus his energy elsewhere until the Palestinians are ready to compromise.
Shaked spoke at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday.
She says: "I think, personally, it is a waste of time".
The US is preparing to release its long-anticipated Middle East peace plan, which Trump calls the "Deal of the Century".
Trump's Mideast team, headed by his adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been working on a peace proposal for months but hasn't said when it will be released.
The Palestinians consider the plan a non-starter, accusing Trump of being unfairly biased toward Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has criticised a series of the Trump administration's policies since he assumed the presidency, including decisions to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, closing the Palestine Liberation Organisation's office in Washington and to cut off aid funding, including to a UN agency that supports millions of Palestinian refugees.
An end to Israeli occupation and a sovereign, independent state of their own is at the heart of Palestinian demands.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their independent state and say its status is a final issue yet to be decided, a view backed by the vast majority of UN member states.
Diplomats in the region say the Trump administration's current blueprint for a peace plan - as conveyed during a tour of officials earlier this year - does not include East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, the right of return for refugees, or a freeze on new Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law.
Israel also says it must retain a security buffer between the West Bank and neighbouring Jordan and Israeli officials speak of an undefined "state-minus" or "less-than-state" for the Palestinians.
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