US peace plan: Trump’s lifeline for Netanyahu

Palestinian political analysts say that U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of a Middle East peace plan will serve as a lifeline for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The plan, dubbed “the Deal of the Century,” is expected to be revealed this week and would come as the Israeli Knesset votes on possible immunity for Netanyahu in three graft cases.

"The timing is suspicious," Palestinian writer and political analyst Wadih Abunassar told Anadolu Agency.

"It comes in parallel with the start of the Knesset sessions to decide on Netanyahu's immunity.

"Trump wants to help Netanyahu and help himself, to show the extreme right in the United States that he is capable of providing anything to protect Israel," Abunassar said.

The move is likely to succeed in saving Netanyahu's political future, the political analyst said, given that the Israeli opposition is adopting the same ideas that are expected in the deal.

Abunassar conceded that the Palestinian cause is currently experiencing hard times due to the absence of a "national strategy".

New old deal

Palestinian writer and political analyst Tayseer Muhaisen told Anadolu Agency the Deal of the Century is a plan "forged by the U.S. administration with Israel more than 26 years ago,” referring to the Oslo I Accord signed in 1993.

"The American administration and the Israeli occupation managed during the past decades to impose a reality that totally contradicts the political structure that was produced in the framework to end the Arab-Israeli conflict under the so-called peace process," he said, referring to the two-state solution.

"Israel succeeded in destroying "all the demographic and geographical components of the Palestinian state," he said. "Which means that 60% of the area of ​​the West Bank came under annexation and Israeli sovereignty was imposed...There is also a threat to annex the Jordan Valley under Trump's support; this is part of the deal."

He also agreed that the deal serves Netanyahu’s political agenda.

On the international level, Netanyahu continues his efforts, according to Muhaisen, to "break the ice with the Arab surrounding; this [normalization] is also part of the deal that deals with re-positioning the occupation in the region and building relationships with various Arab entities."

Palestinian refusal

Writer and political analyst Abdul Majeed Swailem the peace plan another form of occupation, saying it "does not mean anything to the Palestinians because they are still under occupation."

The Palestinian political leadership rejects this deal and will not accept it in any case, he stressed, pointing out that it wants "peace in accordance with legitimacy and international law."

Swailem considers Trump's deal "a dedication to Israeli interests, expansionism and aggression."

He pointed out that the Palestinian leadership has played a major role in exposing this plan and clarifying its danger to world peace by working within the framework of the UN, international law and diplomatic and political relations.

Swailem believes that the Palestinians should review "all plans and policies to advance to a new path that establishes a Palestinian strategy to confront the existing situation."

Palestine’s leadership has vowed not to recognize any Middle East peace plan it had previously rejected, warning the U.S. and Israel against announcing such a deal.

Last week, the White House said Trump had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief political rival Benny Gantz to visit Washington on Tuesday amid reports that Trump's Middle East peace plan, dubbed "the Deal of the Century," would soon be revealed.

Trump said he believed the peace plan could work and claimed that he had spoken to the Palestinians "briefly."

Israel's Channel 12 and 13 said Trump's plan would recognize Israeli sovereignty over virtually all settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law.

That would effectively move the U.S.-recognized Israeli border further east into Palestinian territory and Israeli sovereignty would be recognized over the whole of Jerusalem, which Palestinians seek as the capital of their future state.

The plan would also recognize a demilitarized Palestinian state at a later time reportedly, but Palestinian officials are highly unlikely to accept the plan, which Channel 12 said will also demand Hamas' disarmament and Palestinian recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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