Trump: Mideast peace plan to be released after Israeli elections

Trump said the political details of his peace plan will be unveiled after the Israeli elections.

By World Israel News Staff

“We’ll probably wait” to release details of the Middle East peace plan until after Israel’s elections, President Donald Trump said on Sunday in Morristown, N.J. before boarding Air Force One. He added that his administration “may put out pieces of it.”

The Trump administration had hoped to release its deal this summer following Israel’s April elections after the country had formed a stable government that would be able to move the peace process forward.

However, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to build a Knesset majority, the country was forced to call a second round of elections, the first back-to-back elections in its history.

The new elections will be held on September 17.

Dubbed by Trump the “deal of the century” due to the difficulties involved, the president repeated this refrain to reporters on Sunday. “That’s probably the toughest deal of all,” he said. “Peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians because [of] decades of hate. And it’s tough to make a deal when there’s that much hate.”

While the economic aspects of the plan have been released, the Trump administration has been tight-lipped about the political details.

The lead architect of the deal for the administration is Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser to the president. Also working on the project is Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Kushner and his team revealed the economic portion of the plan in a workshop in Bahrain titled “Peace to Prosperity.” That two-day conference took place on June 25 and 26 in the capital, Manama. The highly detailed plan lists 179 business and infrastructure projects totaling $50 billion that would be split between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and neighboring Arab states with the aim of creating a million new jobs within 10 years.

Although the Palestinian Authority boycotted the conference, Kushner declared it a “tremendous success,” noting that people from “all over the world” attended. Kushner also pointed out that there was a time when no Arab leader would move against the Palestinians, but this time Arab states ignored the PA’s boycott and sent representatives anyway.

The PA officially announced it was breaking off contact with the Trump administration after the president announced he was moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in December 2017.

Trump made other moves that angered the PA, including halting funding in August 2018 to UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which provides funding and services to Palestinian refugees. The administration said the agency was hopelessly corrupt and prolonging the refugee problem rather than solving it.

Also, in August 2018, a week prior to the UNRWA announcement, Trump cut over $200 million in funding to the PA.