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Peace to prosperity

  • Category
    India & world
  • Published
    5th Feb, 2020

US President, Donald Trump, launched with Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, a peace plan for advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Context

US President, Donald Trump, launched with Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, a peace plan for advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

About

  • Peace to Prosperity: A vision to improve the lives of the Palestinian and Israeli people, commonly known as the Trump peace plan, is a proposal by the Trump administration bearing the stated intention of resolving the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
  • Donald Trump formally unveiled the plan in a White House press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 28, 2020.
    • Palestinian representatives were not invited.
  • The plan was authored by a team led by Trump's son-in-law, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, Jared Kushner.
  • Both the West Bank settlers' Yesha Council and the Palestinian leadership rejected the plan.
    • Yesha Council rejected the plan because it envisaged a Palestinian state.
    • While Palestinian leadership rejected the plan arguing that it is too biased in favour of Israel.
  • The plan is divided into two parts, an economic portion and a political portion.
    • On June 22, 2019, the Trump administration released the economic portion of the plan, titled "Peace to Prosperity".
    • The political portion was released in late January 2020.
  • According to White House, the vision is security-focused, and provides both self-determination and significant economic opportunity for Palestinians.
    • It also provides positive benefits to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Arab Republic of Egypt and countries throughout the region.

Background (as per the Peace Plan)

  • Israelis and Palestinians have both suffered greatly from their long-standing and seemingly interminable conflict.
  • Palestinians have aspirations that have not been realized, including self-determination, improvement of their standard of living, social betterment, and a respected place in the region, as well as among the nations of the world.
  • The State of Israel has made peace with two of its neighbours.
    • It made peace with the Arab Republic of Egypt in 1979
    • It made peace with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1994.
  • In 1993, the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization reached the first of several interim agreements, known collectively as the Oslo Accords.
  • One of the most significant understandings within those agreements provided for security cooperation between the Israel Defense Forces (the “IDF”) and the Palestinian Authority Security Forces (the “PASF”).

Details of the Peace Plan

  • Israeli sovereignty over settlements: According to the proposal, Israeli government would immediately annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank settlements, while committing not to create new settlements in areas left to the Palestinians for at least four years.
    • While Trump administration clarified that no such immediate green light had been given.
    • No decision would take place before new elections and a new government had been formed.
  • Would give Palestinians all the power to govern themselves but not the powers to threaten Israel.
  • This necessarily entails limitations of certain sovereign powers in the Palestinian areas (henceforth referred to as the “Palestinian State”) such as:
    • maintenance of Israeli security responsibility
    • Israeli control of the airspace west of the Jordan River.
  • This Vision creates a realistic Two-State solution in which a secure and prosperous State of Palestine is living peacefully alongside a secure and prosperous State of Israel in a secure and prosperous region.
  • Opportunities for regional cooperation: If implemented, this Vision can lead to direct flights between the State of Israel and its neighbours, the transport of people and commerce and the unlocking of opportunities for millions of people to visit religious sites sacred to their faiths.
  • Status on State of Palestine: The Trump plan proposes a State of Palestine with a capital on the outskirts of East Jerusalem.
    • The plan is offering the Palestinians a state, a future State of Palestine, which will be not established up to four years into the execution of the plan.
    • The plan would be conditional on Palestinians taking steps to become self-governing.
    • However, the sovereignty the State of Palestine would possess is disputed.

Palestinian argument

  • Palestinians fear that the plan seeks to use economic incentives to bribe them into accepting Israeli occupation, in what could be an Israeli aim to annex the majority of the West Bank and most of the Jordan Valley, a strategic and fertile strip of territory.
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