US has no plan for Middle East peace, says senior Palestinian

Lester Mason
September 15, 2018

JERICHO, West Bank - The United States will not present its long-awaited plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace any time soon and is instead trying to unilaterally change the terms of reference for any future proposal, a senior Palestinian official said on Saturday.

"There were too many false realities that were created - that people worship - that I think needed to be changed", Kushner told the Times, adding, "All we're doing is dealing with things as we see them and not being scared out of doing the right thing". "The whole world is rejecting their ideas".

Palestinian leaders say Trump's White House is blatantly biased in favor of Israel and is seeking to blackmail them into accepting its terms.

The Palestinian Authority severed all diplomatic contact with the USA following Trump's controversial decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the American embassy to the city and have since shunned the United State's role as mediator in the peace process. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem - which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed - as the capital of their future state.

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and special advisor, has defended his policy of punishing the Palestinians to push them into new peace talks with Israel.

The administration has also slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian refugee agencies and aid groups.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday welcomed the latest US moves.

"All they've done is have their hand out asking for money, badmouth the United States, not come to the table on the peace deal - why would we have a PLO office?" she explained.

"The Kushner truth and the Netanyahu truth is that Jerusalem is Israel's capital, no right of return to refugees, settlements are legal, no Palestinian state on 1967 (borders) and Gaza must be separated from the West Bank and this is absolutely unacceptable", Erekat said.

"Israel is fully responsible for the agreement's failure by disrespecting its provisions as well as occupying the Palestinian territories, expanding the settlements and its aggression against the Palestinians and their rights, properties and sanctities", he said.

But Haley insisted that work on the peace plan was continuing despite the PA snub, and that the Palestinians stood far more to gain from entering into peace talks than Israel. It withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement.

Among the poll's other key findings were that 56 percent of those questioned said a two-state solution to the conflict is "no longer practical or feasible due to the expansion of Israeli" communities in Judea and Samaria.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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