Photo Credit: GPO screen grab via YouTube
US President Donald Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on Jan 27 2020

US President Donald Trump told journalists at the White House on Monday that he believe his administration’s Middle East Peace Plan, which is to be revealed to the world on Tuesday at 12 noon local time, has a good chance of bringing peace to the region.

“I will say many of the Arab nations have agreed to it,” Trump said. “They like it. They think it’s great. They think it’s a big start; I think it’s a big start too.”

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With regard to the response of the Palestinian Authority, however, the president acknowledged the road might not be as smooth.

“It’s something they should want. They probably won’t want it initially, but I think at the end they will, I think in the end they’re going to want it,” he said. “It’s very good for them, in fact, it’s overly good to them, so we’ll see what happens.

As far as the State of Israel is concerned, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “the deal of the century” is the “opportunity of the century, and we’re not going to pass it by. You’ve been the greatest friend that Israel has had in the White House, and I think tomorrow we can continue making history.”

Asked whether Blue and White faction leader Benny Gantz feels the same, Trump said, “Mr. Gantz is here for that reason. He’s coming too.”

The president was also asked what happens if Israel agrees to the deal, and the Palestinian Authority does not; is there still a deal?

His response was simple: “Without them we don’t do the deal — and that’s okay, they’re not living well. As you know we cut off aid to Palestinians. It’s something I don’t like to do but we did that and we think there’s a very good chance that they’re going to want this.

“I would say their initial response just as great negotiators – and they are great negotiators – their initial response and I have no idea what they’re going to say, would be ‘Oh we don’t want anything,’ but in the meantime they’ll be negotiating,” Trump continued.

“So let’s see how it works. . . It’s a very big plan. It will be a suggestion between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s the closest it’s ever come, and we’ll see what happens.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.