US peace deal to be unveiled shortly, Trump says
United States President Donald Trump suggested he will publish some remaining parts of the controversial US peace plan, dubbed as the 'Deal of the Century', before the Israeli elections due to take place in three weeks.
On the sidelines on the G-7 conference in France, Trump was asked by journalists if his plan for Palestine and Israel will be released before the elections.
“Of course not,” he said in response, but then adding that they “may see what the deal looks like before the election.”
The rest of the deal was meant to roll out over the summer period but was delayed after surprise elections were held in Israel due to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's failure to secure a coalition government.
Trump added that he believes Palestinian officials will accept the deal, despite consistent denunciations from Ramallah.
“I cut off most funding to the Palestinians, a lot of funding. And I think they’d like to get it back”, Trump said.
Last month, the US revealed the economic part of its administration’s so-called Deal of the Century in a conference boycotted by Palestinians.
The conference, led by Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, took place in Bahrain, viewed by many as a stab-in-the-back.
The Palestinian leadership is deeply distrustful of Kushner, a family friend of Netanyahu and Trump, who has taken a series of landmark steps to support Israel including recognising the bitterly divided Jerusalem as its capital.
The Bahrain conference earlier this year was seen by many as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause and a hint at the newly-emerging Arab endorsement of the US' plan for the future of the Middle East, despite the Trump administration's notorious support of Israel's illegal occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem.
The Bahrain conference was backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE despite the fact that Palestinians say they were not consulted about the conference.
Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi quickly rejected the plan earlier this year, saying the United States should instead press Israel to allow the Palestinians to thrive.
"First lift the siege of Gaza, stop the Israeli theft of our land, resources and funds, give us our freedom of movement and control over our borders, airspace, territorial waters etc. Then watch us build a vibrant prosperous economy as a free and sovereign people," she tweeted at the time.
US officials have hinted that the eventual peace plan will not mention the creation of an independent Palestinian state, a goal of decades of often intense US diplomacy.
Jason Greenblatt, a senior aide to Trump who crafted the peace plan alongside Kushner, said that the political component may come as late as November once Israel has a new government in place.
The plan had already been held up due to Israel's elections in April, but the country is going to the polls again after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition.
Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab