Report: Trump Peace Plan Will Not Include Settlement Evacuation

White House denies report, which also said the plan would include an independent Palestinian state negotiated with land swaps not necessarily on 1967 lines

The Donald Trump administration's plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace will be based on an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, not necessarily according to 1967 lines, Israel Television News (formerly Channel 2 News) reported on Saturday. The White House denied the report.
Based on Israeli sources, the report said that U.S. President Donald Trump intends to propose the Palestinians declare independence, after which the United States will recognize the Palestinian state. The Palestinians will also receive hundreds of millions of dollars from Sunni Arab countries as aid.

In addition, the United States is expected to adopt the principle of land swaps, but not necessarily according to the 1967 lines, said the report. The proposal will also meet most of Israel’s security demands. At this stage, no Jews or Arabs will be evacuated from their homes, and the issue of Jerusalem is not yet on the agenda. The question of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will also be postponed.
"There is constant speculation and guessing about what we are working on and this report is more of the same," the White House said in a statement. "It is not an accurate representation, rather it is a mix of possibilities and ideas that have existed for decades."
“What we can say is we are engaged in a productive dialogue with all relevant parties and are taking a different approach than the past to create an enduring peace deal," responded the White House. "We are not going to put an artificial deadline on anything and we have no imminent plans beyond continuing our conversations. As we have always said, our job is to facilitate a deal that works for both Israelis and Palestinians, not to impose anything on them."
An administration official, not referring directly to the report, added that such stories are "like a Minestrone soup of different ideas" and don't actually represent what the administration is preparing.
Earlier on Saturday, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, criticized the American threat to shut down the Palestinian mission in Washington, D.C. unless it enters serious peace negotiations with Israel as a "dangerous step." He said the warning shows the United States is losing its status as a fair mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.
The threat, which was relayed to the Palestinians by the U.S. State Department, "is a puzzling position of the administration," Nabil Abu Rudeineh said. "The Palestinian side has not received any document or idea from the United States for many months, despite the fact that many meetings have taken place with the administration."
The move is "a dangerous threat," Abu Rudeineh said "that leads [to the conclusion that] the United States is losing its position as a negotiator" and that it was "withdrawing from its role as a sponsor of the diplomatic process for peace as promised by President Trump."
Abu Rudeineh said that warning issued by the U.S. administration was "unprecedented in the relationship between Washington and the Arab world," and that "it deals a blow to efforts to promote peace and a prize for Israel, which is trying to thwart American efforts by continuing to build in the settlements and opposing the two-state solution."

Amir Tibon

Haaretz Correspondent

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Trump Peace Plan Will Not Include Settlement Evacuation

Tags: #IsraelLobby, #AIPAC, #U.S.A. ZIONIST

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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