President Donald Trump has unveiled his long-awaited Middle East plan, winning immediate praise from a beaming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but swift rejection from the Palestinians, who called it “nonsense.”
Trump’s plan calls for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, but it falls far short of minimal Palestinian demands and would leave sizable chunks of the occupied West Bank in Israeli hands.
Netanyahu called it a “great plan for Israel.” With Netanyahu standing beside him, Trump presented the plan at a White House ceremony filled with other Israeli officials and allies, including evangelical Christian leaders and wealthy Republican donors but no Palestinian representatives.
Thousands of Palestinians protested in Gaza City ahead of the announcement, burning pictures of Trump and Netanyahu and raising a banner reading “Palestine is not for sale.”
The 50-page plan builds on a 30-page economic plan for the West Bank and Gaza that was unveiled last June and which the Palestinians have also rejected.
The plan envisions a future Palestinian state consisting of the West Bank and Gaza, connected by a combination of roads and tunnels. It also would give small areas of southern Israel to the Palestinians as compensation for lost West Bank land.
But the many caveats, and ultimate overall Israeli control, made the deal a nonstarter for the Palestinians.