The Debate - Trump’s peace plan: A blueprint for more Middle East conflict?

Cheryl Sanders
July 3, 2020

But residents going about errands or sipping drinks at cafes were hardly focused on whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would seek to expand Israeli sovereignty to the community. He said he expected the annexation to take place later in July.

The West Bank is a landlocked territory running along the west bank of the River Jordan with as many as three million Palestinians living there.

Trump's 180-page "deal of the century", officially known as the "Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People" bill - published in January - put forward proposals that were widely seen as benefiting Israelis with Palestinian factions denouncing it as dead on arrival.

Describing himself as a "passionate defender of Israel", Johnson revealed that he had followed proposals to annex occupied Palestinian territory "with sadness", and warned that if carried out, it would "represent a violation of worldwide law".

Netanyahu's centre-right coalition government had set July 1 as the date from which it could begin implementing US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace proposal.

Palestinians demonstrate against Israeli plans for the annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Netanyahu has voiced enthusiastic support for the Trump plan - which has been roundly rejected by the Palestinians - but the right-wing premier has not revealed his intentions for enacting the United States proposals.

"Annexation would represent a violation of global law", Johnson wrote, adding that it would also jeopardise "the progress that Israel has made in improving relationships with the Arab and Muslim world".

But the plan has come under stiff worldwide criticism.

Israel's defence minister and alternate prime minister Benny Gantz has said annexation must wait until the coronavirus crisis has been contained, amid a sharp spike in new Israeli and Palestinian cases.

Netanyahu met United States envoys on Tuesday to discuss annexation within the framework of Trump's Middle East peace plan, and said afterwards that such talks would continue for several days. The plan has also attracted opposition from some settler leaders and pro-settler politicians who have voiced concern that annexation could lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, which they oppose. Israel captured those areas in a 1967 war and withdrew soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005. A USA official told Reuters: "There are very robust conversations with Israel on the Trump plan".

The EU has also strongly opposed the USA plan, mounting a diplomatic campaign against the project.

Other reports by iNewsToday