US Mideast peace plan ‘not set in stone,’ says UN envoy

Kelly Craft communicated the U.S.’ commitment to facilitating negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

By World Israel News and AP

In the run up to Israel’s impending annexation of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, commented at a press briefing Friday that the Trump peace plan is “not set in stone” and said the administration has been working to bring Israel and the Palestinians to the negotiating table to discuss it.

“Until we have dialogue, there’s going to be nothing,” she said. “So I’m really stressing, and really pushing, whether it be through a Quartet” or engagement with Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors at the U.N. that “we have — you have — to get to the table.”

Craft’s mention of the Quartet refers to a group consisting of the United Nations (UN), the United States, Russia and the European Union.

In the run up to Israeli annexation, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said U.N. Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov has also held discussions with the parties on setting up a Quartet meeting to push the so-called two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Last month, Mladenov told Israel it should abandon its plans to annex Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, including the strategic Jordan Valley, despite the fact that Israel has maintained control over this territory since 1967 and over half a million Israelis live there.

Under the U.S. plan envisions leaving about one third of Judea and Samaria will be annexed by Israel, while the Palestinians will continue to control the remainder of the territory, with the possibility of creating an interdependent state, provided they stop their regime-sponsored terror campaign and cease threatening Israel with destruction, in addition to other conditions.

The Palestinians, who seek all of Judea and Samaria, have rejected the plan and refuse to stop paying terrorists who murder and maim Israeli civilians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said the Palestinians will no longer be committed to any signed agreements with Israel or the U.S. following Israel’s annexation pledge. He has called for negotiations under international auspices, including by the Quartet, to advance a two-state solution.

The Quartet was established in 2002 and has been criticized for its abject failure to get either Israel or the Palestinian Authority to change their policies and negotiate an end to their decades-old conflict.