President Trump said he will release details of his Middle East peace plan Tuesday, and the long-awaited package is expected to propose a dramatic remapping of the West Bank while offering Palestinians a pathway to statehood if they meet a set of tests.
Trump described his proposals for Middle East peace in private meetings Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the veteran Israeli leader’s challenger in upcoming elections, Benny Gantz.
No Palestinians attended the White House preview of what is described as a highly detailed proposal for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that dates from Israel’s founding in 1948.
“In the business world, when I was back in the business world, when a deal was tough, people would jokingly refer to it as, ‘This is tougher than Israel and the Palestinians getting together,’ ” Trump said as he welcomed Netanyahu for an Oval Office briefing on the secretive package. “And that’s what I’ve heard all my life, and so we’ll see what happens. We have something that makes a lot of sense for everybody.”
The package is expected to propose a redrawn border between Israel and the West Bank that would incorporate large Jewish settlements into Israel proper, while continuing some forms of Israeli security control over the territory Israel seized in 1967 and has occupied since, according to two people familiar with the plan who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the proposal has not been released.
Trump predicted that “we will ultimately have the support of the Palestinians” but also appeared to confirm expectations that the White House proposals are generous to close ally Israel.
“That’s a plan that Bibi, maybe, and his opponent, I must say, they have to like very much,” Trump said, calling Netanyahu by his nickname.
Gantz met with Trump separately at the White House as part of the administration’s strategy to release the U.S. guidelines for a settlement before Israelis vote in March. Netanyahu and Gantz are in a dead heat after two inconclusive elections in the past year. Both have said they welcome the Trump plan.