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Why Trump’s Deal of the Century is no Peace Deal?

What is the deal of the century?

US President Donald Trump on January 28, 2020, formally announced his long-awaited Middle East Peace Plan to resolve the seven-decade-long Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He hailed it as “the deal of the century”.

What is in the Middle East Peace Plan?

The 29,000-word plan consists of two parts. Part A of the plan is the political framework. Part A proposes redrawing the boundaries between the two states; recognizing “Al Quds” which is the Arabic word for Jerusalem as the capital of a future State of Palestine while also recognizing Jerusalem as the “undivided capital” of Israel; requiring that the State of Palestine remain fully demilitarised; denying the internationally-recognized Right of Return by Palestinian refugees.

The remaining part of the peace plan (Part B) contains an economic framework that promises to facilitate more than $50 billion in new investment over a period of ten years. This includes the construction of a tunnel between the West Bank and Gaza Strip and an artificial island off the coast of Gaza to develop a port and airport.
                                                                                      The deal also claims to incorporate the vast majority of illegal Israeli settlements into Israeli territory and annexing the Jordan Valley. The deal seems silent on the issue of refugees and proposes that a just solution for the Palestinian and Jewish refugees should be implemented through an appropriate international mechanism separate from the Israel-Palestinian Peace Agreement. The decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict has created both the Palestinian and the Jewish refugee problem.
                                                                                               Apart from this, the peace plan grants autonomy to Palestinian homeland only in civil matters like education and healthcare while trade, immigration as well as security will be in the hands of Israel. Moreover, Israel will retain its security control over the Palestinian enclaves and will continue its control over Palestinian borders, airspace, aquifers, maritime, and the electromagnetic spectrum under the peace
            Israel will continue its military control over West Bank. In 1967, Israel completely occupied Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Trump’s new plan says the United States will support the establishment of a Palestinian State but only under a long list of preconditions.

What would be the status of Jerusalem according to the deal of the century?

According to Trump’s deal of the century, the Holy city of Jerusalem should be internationally recognized as the capital of the State of Israel. While Al Quds (or another name selected by the State of Palestine) should be internationally recognized as the capital of the State of Palestine. The Palestinian capital will be in east Jerusalem based on northern and eastern neighborhoods that are outside the Israeli security barrier – Kafr Akab, Abu Dis, and half of Shuafat.

Jerusalem is holy to multiple faiths and has religious significance for people of many faiths including Jews, Muslims, and Christians. The deal proposes that Jerusalem should always remain open to worshippers of all religions.

On December 6, 2017, on behalf of the United States of America, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. The embassy of the United States to the State of Israel will remain in Jerusalem according to the peace deal.

Following the signing of the Peace Agreement, the embassy of the United States to the State of Palestine will be in Al Quds at a location to be chosen by the United States, in agreement with the State of Palestine. The United States will recognize the State of Israel and the State of Palestine in their respective capitals and encourage other nations to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem and Al Quds thereafter.

Does the UN accept the Deal of the Century?

United Nations has rejected US President Donald Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ and reiterated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be solved based on UN resolutions and international law. A spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said that the position of the United Nations on the two-State solution has been defined, throughout the years, by relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by which the Secretariat is bound.

“The United Nations remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis in resolving the conflict on the basis of United Nations resolutions, international law, and bilateral agreements and realizing the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines,” the spokesperson added.

The UN has made it clear several times that it follows a different political trajectory than that followed by Washington, and that all US decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem, the illegal settlements and the Golan Heights, are null and void.

Criticism on Deal of Century

Stephen Lendman calls the deal dead before arrival. His remarks are based on the leaked information about the peace deal prior to the official announcement. He said that Trump’s one-sided support for Israel is more extreme than any of his predecessors.

“He(Trump) illegally recognized Jerusalem (an UN-established international city) as Israel’s exclusive capital, moved the US embassy there, abandoned a legitimate two-state solution, recognized Israel’s unlawful Golan annexation, and no longer considers illegal settlements occupied territory,” Stephen Lendman said while criticizing the pro-Israel peace deal.

He also said that the so-called $50 billion investment fund for Palestinians and neighboring Arab states that’s part of his(Trump’s) no-peace/peace plan is all about enriching Western and Israeli monied interests, unrelated to aiding long-suffering Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the so-called peace deal also excludes 70% or more of West Bank land controlled by Israel, including the Jordan Valley, closed military zones, exclusive Jewish commercial areas, tourist sites, no-go areas, and illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

Moreover, the deal contradicts the 1980 UN Security Council Resolution No. 465 which says that all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity.

Also, Israel’s policy of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in Palestinian and other Arab territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The International Court of Justice in 2004 ruled that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development (and) have been established in breach of international law.

The deal is wholly one-sided and promises Israel Premier Benjamin Netanyahu whatever he wants. Trump’s plan is very unlikely to resolve the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict, it will make it worse instead. The deal promises Israel a blank check to speed up its colonial venture, to entrench its military occupation, and to further oppress Palestinians.

The Arab League has also rejected US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan. It called the acceptance of the so-called deal of the century equivalent to waiving the historical rights of Palestine. At an emergency meeting in Cairo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attacked the proposal, saying his people will never accept it.

Financial Times in its report called Trump’s plan a fraud, a smokescreen for the burial of the two-state solution for Israel-Palestine conflict. Trump’s deal requires the Palestinians to compromise on their original homeland. Deal’s silence on Palestinian Refugees and full-fledged support to Israel to occupy illegal Israeli settlements and annexing the Jordan Valley is nothing but an indication of the plot that seems to annihilate the Palestinian cause.

About Noshin Bashir

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