According to an Israel’s Channel 2 TV report on Saturday night, these are the main principles in President Trump’s peace plan as most senior Israeli officials understand them having shared intimate conversations with the US negotiating team: Trump intends to offer the Palestinians a state – but under different conditions than in the past, and together with an extensive economic proposal.
According to the understanding in Jerusalem, these are the principles on which Trump’s initiative will be based: after initial reservation, the American president intends to offer the Palestinians a state, and is also expected to adopt the principle of land swaps – but not necessarily according to the 1967 lines, which were the basis for previous initiatives by previous administrations, especially Obama’s and Clinton’s.
At this stage, there will be no evacuation of Jews or Arabs.
The question of dividing Jerusalem, according to the same sources, is not currently on the agenda. Also, the debate over the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem and US recognition of Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel will be postponed, in order to make it easier for Netanyahu to sell the plan to politicians on the right and public opinion.
In addition, top Israeli officials expect the PA to receive hundreds of millions for a tremendous economic development. The money will come mainly from the Sunni Arab countries, which will allow Chairman Abbas to accept the proposal.
For its part, the US is expected to meet most of Israel’s security needs, and the understanding is that IDF forces will be positioned on the Jordan River.
According to the same report, Prime Minister Netanyahu is in the midst of a battle to gain complete control over the entire length of the Jordan valley.
Israeli officials are saying that Trump and his administration have not yet decided who is the obstacle to the negotiations – Israel or the PA – despite Secretary of State Tillerson’s warning to shut down the PLO office in DC for violations of the conditions imposed by Congress on its remaining open. The same Israeli officials also believe the entire Trump Middle East team, who all come from Real Estate, are convinced they can urge the peace process along by throwing money at it.
This is why Netanyahu has been telling his ministers at every opportunity that Trump is the most friendly president Israel has ever dealt with and there will not be a better deal from any future administration, so Israel must not say no to Trump – in the hope that Mahmoud Abbas would be the one to reject the White House plan.
In response to the report, a senior White House official said (translated from the Hebrew Channel 2 report), “There is ongoing speculation about the work we are doing and this report is not much different – the details are essentially a mix of ideas that have been around for years and are not necessarily accurate, we are in a productive dialogue with all the relevant parties and we bring a different approach than in the past to achieve a sustainable peace deal We have no artificial deadline, beyond the continuation of the talks, as we said, our job is to allow a deal that will work for both sides and we have no intention of imposing anything on them.”