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Trump Unveils Middle East Plan that Offers Palestine Path to Statehood, Increased Territory

President Donald Trump waves next to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prior to announcing his Middle East peace plan proposal in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 28, 2020. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

President Trump unveiled his administration’s plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace at a press conference on Tuesday that currently lacks Palestinian buy-in but nevertheless provides a path to Palestinian statehood and substantial territorial gains.

Trump said that Israel would adopt the plan as a basis for negotiations with the Palestinians.

“All prior administrations from the [administration of] Lyndon Johnson have failed,” Trump told assembled officials and reporters, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side. “But I was not elected to do small things, or shy away from large problems.”

Netanyahu thanked Trump and adviser Jared Kushner for their development of the plan.

“The Jewish state owes [Jared Kushner], and it owes President Trump, an eternal debt of gratitude,” Netanyahu said.

The plan itself calls for more than doubling the area of the West Bank currently under Palestinian control, as well as a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. However, the President also insisted that Israel would retain “undivided” control over its capital of Jerusalem, and that no Israelis or Palestinians would be uprooted from their homes to make the deal.

The Palestinians would be required to meet certain conditions for the plan’s implementation. These include the disarmament of terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the discontinuation of Palestinian Authority programs that pay salaries to terrorists or their families, and the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

In return, the Palestinians would receive a state covering most of the West Bank and an investment of $50 billion in the state’s economy, funded by other nations.

The plan does not grant Palestinians the right of return, with the possible exception of a small number of refugees from Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Israel would be required to implement a building freeze for a period of four years, covering territory in the West Bank to be included in a future Palestinian state.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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