Never ceasing to astonish us Donald Trump and his son in law, Jared Kushner elaborated a “plan” for what they call Israeli/Arab peace.
Carlos Amato, Mail & Guardian, South Africa, May 2017
This “deal of the century”, I will call it DOC, can only be developed in an American brain. Not only did they not contemplate the historical context, but also did they not care about the opinion of the Palestinian people, most neighboring countries and believe that they can rearrange borders and countries with a decision taken during a brainstorming at breakfast table. In short Trump assumes that he is playing Monopoly and Sim City – with real people – at once and that he is entitled to do so.
It is expected that Trump will publish the contents of the DOC few days after Ramadan. However, on 7thof May a document circulated by the Israeli Foreign Ministry was leaked and the main points of the deal were published by “Israel Hayom” newspaper.
DOC has a clear one-sided approach being a gift to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and various extreme-right Israeli parties.
Palestinian have barely been consulted. To pressure even more, funding for Palestinian refugees has been cut off by the United States. According to Israel Hayom The United States will propose to dismantle the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) during the International Conference “Peace to Prosperity” scheduled to take place in in Manama, Bahrain on 25 and 26 June.The conference also known as “economic workshop” will be the place where Arab finance ministers and international businessmen will discuss how to “encourage investing capital” in the West Bank and Gaza through infrastructure and industrial development.
This conference will be attended by representatives from all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries as well as other Arab states but not by the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinian Authority as well as all Palestinian factions have rejected any participation in this conference and PLO declared that Palestinian business leaders who would participate will be considered “collaborators”.
Trump and Kushner approached the long-lasting conflict like a hostile take-over and a like a real estate development project thinking that they can “buy off” the Palestinian people, who would be discarded like fired employees.
The key point of the DOC is investment and business, maintaining the status quo for Israel and giving a little better economic condition for Palestinians.
The Palestinian state foreseen in the plan is not a real state, just an economical less challenging existence for the Palestinians, who would be still under Israel control.
The US envoy to the region, Jason Greenblatt, has recently stated that replacing UNRWA and terminating its work will be central to the deal, pointing out that “UNRWA only perpetuates the conflict”. The rebuilding and the “humanitarian aid” would of course in future benefit US enterprises and International “NGO’s” which would take over the work of UNRWA.
Jared Kushner, who has extensive interests in Israel and its settlements, is said to be the brain behind the main points of the deal.
The proposed deal
According to the leaked document a tripartite agreement would be signed between Israel, the PLO and Hamas, and a Palestinian state would be established that would be called “New Palestine” and elections would take place within one year its establishment.
“New Palestine” would be established in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with the exception of the settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law, that would form part of Israel.
Jerusalem would be shared by Israel and the “New Palestine” but not divided and Israel would maintain general control remaining in charge of the municipality and therefore the land. The status quo at the holy sites would continue.
Palestinians living in Jerusalem would be citizens of the Palestinian state. New Palestine state would pay taxes to the Israeli municipality in order to be in charge of education in the city for Palestinians.
Egypt would “give” the new Palestinian state land to build an airport, factories and for agriculture to service the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians however would not be permitted to live on this land for the time being.
All borders between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and Israel would remain open to people and goods. No details are clear on this issue since the borders “are open” but in fact controlled by Israeli and therefore “not open”. In theory Palestinians would be able to use Israeli air and seaports.
“New Palestine” would have two crossings into Jordan, under the control of the “New Palestine” authorities, whilst the Jordan Valley would remain in Israel’s hands and a four-lane toll road would be built through it.
A highway would be built connecting the Gaza Strip to the West Bank 30 meters above Israel (airspace clause) but since the foundations would be on Israeli ground the highway would be at the mercy of Israel.
During five years USA, EU and Gulf states would fund and sponsor the deal to establish “New Palestine” with an estimated cost of $6 billion a year.
The Gulf states would have to “sponsor” 70%, USA 20% and the EU 10%.
Highway funding would come from China (50% of the cost) and South Korea, Australia, Canada, USA and EU (10% of the cost each).
Security and Military Forces
The “New Palestine” state would not be allowed to form an army but could maintain a police force.
A defense agreement would be signed between Israel and the “New Palestine” in which Israel would defend the new state from any foreign attacks.
After signing the agreement, Hamas would be required to hand over all its weapons to Egypt. The leaders of Hamas would be compensated and paid salaries by Arab states while a government would be established.
Israel would release Palestinian prisoners gradually over the course of three years.
If Hamas or any Palestinian bodies refuse this deal, the US would cancel all of its financial support to the Palestinians and pressure other countries to do the same. But even worse, even if Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian Authority President) signs the deal but Hamas and Islamic Jihad do not agree to it, the Israeli would be allowed to wage a war on the Gaza Strip with the full backing of the USA.
On the other if Israel refuses the deal the USA would only cease its financial support of $3.8 billion a.
Kushner’s deal, is nothing else than a...
Kushner’s deal, is nothing else than a plan to Bribe Palestinians away from political sovereignty toward a mere promise of economic prosperity which is far likely to happen.
The new “geographic vision” of New Palestine with Egypt “giving away” land is completely unrealistic and shows how little Trump and Kushner respect International Law. In their twisted minds the USA has the power to “rearrange” borders as it suits them.
In the unlikely event that the Egyptians would agree to this deal, there is the issue of the African Union and its constitutive act. Egypt is an African country and member of the African Union. Under Article 4 Principle of the constitutive act it is stated clearly that Union shall function in accordance with the respect of borders existing on achievement of independence.
In fact the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak revealed a short while ago that Netanyahu already had asked for his approval in late 2010 to give the Palestinians in Gaza part of the land on the border strip of Sinai in Egypt. Mubarak had refused and warned the Israeli Prime Minister that if he pressed this idea it would lead to another war between Egypt and Israel.
Kushner, meanwhile visited countries in the middle east and north Africa to push for their support. According to several sources Morocco is likely to support the DOC in exchange for the full support of the USA to their autonomy plan for Western Sahara.
This Saturday in the meeting in Mecca, of the 57-country Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has backed the Palestinians and denounced the USA decision to transfer its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, The OIC urged its members to “boycott” those countries that have opened embassies in the disputed city, whose eastern part is regarded by Palestinians as the capital of their future state.
So far, the USA has the support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and the opposition of almost all other countries which classify the DOC as an invitation to doom.
According to the Ramallah-based prisoners-rights organization Ad-Dameer, as of March 2019, 5,450 Palestinian political prisoners are in Israeli jails and they are scattered across 22 prisons in Israel and the occupied West Bank. The proposed release over a three year period of time would represent a considerable amount of “hostages” for Israel. 205 are Palestinian children, 32 of them under 16 years of age.
The proposed defense agreement in which Israel would defend the new Palestinian state from any foreign attacks can only be classified as grotesque.