ER Editor: The article republished below is dated May 8, 2019 from Middle East Monitor. Expert opinion expects the Deal of the Century to be still-born. Here is a a critique of it by Dr. Elias Samo from June 3:
The deal doesn’t offer the Palestinians many concessions. Their basic and minimum demands for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian problem are not met. It is an ultimatum to surrender and accept whatever Netanyahu dictates:
- No two-state solution;
- No sovereign Palestinian state;
- A united Jerusalem that will remain the capital of Israel; thus, East Jerusalem will not be the capital of a sovereign Palestinian state;
- Legitimizing all illegal Israeli settlements;
- No solution for refugees; as its definition of “refugees” ensures they are reduced to a minimum. Trump defined “refugees” as people who were alive when Israel was established in 1948; making the youngest refugee 71 years old. While current American estimates of qualifying “refugees”, per this definition, are 40,000, by the time the New Palestine state is established, which could take up to five years, many of them may not be around;
From all indications, the deal was formulated by the Zionists as a setup, a trap for the single purpose of it being rejected by the Palestinians, effectively serving Israeli designs. Upon certain Palestinian rejection of the deal, Israeli mantra that there is no Palestinian peace partner to negotiate with will be heard, loud and clear.
Additionally, Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land and expansion of settlements will continue, as will the continuation of ethnic cleansing and more apartheid policies. These developments will also be coupled with severe punishments of the Palestinians for rejecting the deal; in which case the US will likely cancel all its financial support to the Palestinians and pressure other countries to do the same.
Worse yet, if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in the extremely unlikely case, signs the deal, which would be signing his death warrant, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad do not sign, a war would be waged on the Gaza Strip with the full backing of the US.
There is hardly any incentive for the Palestinians to accept the deal, and it has already been rejected by Palestinian leaders before its official publication. President Mahmoud Abbas said, “We rejected this deal from the beginning because it did not include Jerusalem and we do not want a state without Jerusalem or without Gaza.”
We also link to this excellent discussion by Jonathan Ofir in Mondoweiss in 2018 (Obama was shocked — shocked — to find that settlements were eating the West Bank!) of how Palestinian land has been deliberately divvied up over time (West Bank / Gaza) and eaten into by illegal Jewish settlements, making a two-state solution with a sovereign Palestine impossible by design. Here is a simple visual of the mess:
Israel newspaper publishes terms of ‘deal of century’
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
The main points of US President Donald Trump’s much-derided plan for the Middle East, the so-called “deal of the century,” were leaked by a Hebrew-language news outlet in Israel yesterday. Israel Hayom published the main points of the deal from a leaked document circulated by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
The US has said it will reveal its deal after the Muslim month of fasting comes to an end in early June.
The main points of the agreement put together by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner — who has extensive interests in Israel and its settlements — and proposed by the US administration are as follows:
A tripartite agreement will be signed between Israel, the PLO and Hamas, and a Palestinian state will be established that will be called “New Palestine” and will be established in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with the exception of the settlements. Israel would release Palestinian prisoners gradually over the course of three years under the deal.
The settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law, would form part of Israel.
Jerusalem will not be divided but is to be shared by Israel and the “New Palestine” with Israel maintaining general control.
Palestinians living in Jerusalem would be citizens of the Palestinian state but Israel would remain in charge of the municipality and therefore the land. The newly formed Palestinian state would pay taxes to the Israeli municipality in order to be in charge of education in the city for Palestinians.
The status quo at the holy sites will remain, and Jewish Israelis will not be allowed to buy Palestinian houses and vice versa.
Egypt will offer the new Palestinian state land to build an airport, factories and for agriculture which will service the Gaza Strip. Palestinians will not be permitted to live on this land.
A highway would be built to connect the Gaza Strip to the West Bank 30 metres above Israel. Funding for the project will mainly come from China, which will pay 50 per cent of the cost, with South Korea, Australia, Canada, the US and EU each paying ten per cent.
The US, EU and Gulf states would fund and sponsor the deal for five years to establish the state of “New Palestine”, the leak claims.
This would be at a cost of $6 billion a year; the majority of which – 70 per cent – would be paid by Gulf states, with the US contributing 20 per cent and the EU ten per cent.
“New Palestine” would not be allowed to form an army but could maintain a police force. Instead, a defence agreement will be signed between Israel and the “New Palestine” in which Israel would defend the new state from any foreign attacks.
Upon signing the agreement, Hamas will hand over all its weapons to Egypt. The movement’s leaders would be compensated and paid salaries by Arab states while a government is established.
Elections are expected to be held within one year of the establishment of the “New Palestine” state.
All borders between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and Israel would remain open to people and goods and Palestinians would be able to use Israeli air and seaports.
“New Palestine” will have two crossings into Jordan; these will be under the control of the “New Palestine” authorities.
The Jordan Valley will remain in Israel’s hands and a four-lane toll road will be built through it.
If Hamas or any Palestinian bodies refuse this deal, the US will cancel all of its financial support to the Palestinians and pressure other countries to do the same.
If, on the other hand, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signs the deal, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad do not agree to it, a war would be waged on the Gaza Strip with the full backing of the US.
However, if Israel refuses the deal, the US would cease its financial support. The US currently pays $3.8 billion a year to support Israel.
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