Palestinian PM Rejects Trump Peace Plan Ahead of Unveiling

President Trump met with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House yesterday

President Trump met with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House yesterday

"Granting Gantz a separate meeting partially mitigates Trump's intervention in the Israeli election", former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro tells JI, though the timing of the announcement is "transparent".

President Donald Trump said alongside visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan has a "chance" - despite being flatly rejected by the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have already announced their rejection to the plan.

Palestinian leaders have claimed that they have not been invited to Washington for any discussions of the peace plan, according to Reuters.

He also seeks at all costs not to be distracted from his main objective, which is to thwart Netanyahu's attempt to gain immunity from prosecution, and to lead his party to victory over the Prime Minister during general elections in March.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014 and Palestinians have called Trump's proposal dead in the water even before its publication.

"I am looking forward to meeting the president - a president of utmost friendliness to the State of Israel - on a matter that is very important for the State of Israel - with national, strategic and security ramifications", Mr. Gantz told reporters as he landed in Washington on Sunday.

Netanyahu, who has called Trump "the greatest friend that Israel has ever had", said he hoped to "make history" in Washington this week.

"This plan gives Israel sovereignty over Palestinian territory", he said.

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The launch of Trump's plan to end the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been delayed numerous times over the past two years.

Trump came to power in 2017, promising to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace, which he labeled the "ultimate deal".

"We'll see what happens", Trump said.

Trump has held an avidly pro-Israel stance since taking office, and solidified his friendship with Netanyahu by moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as recognizing Israel's "sovereignty" over Syria's Golan Heights, illegal under global law. In addition to the actions he took on Jerusalem, Trump slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

Both steps reversed decades of US policy and called into question the "two-state solution" for the region - an independent Palestinian nation living peacefully alongside Israel - that has been the pillar of Middle East peace-making for years.

Netanyahu, a veteran right-wing leader, faces political and legal troubles at home as he heads for his third election in less than a year, and was indicted on criminal charges in November. "Without them, we don't do the deal".

"There is reason to fear that a prime minister with three indictments against him will make decisions based on the personal interest of his own political survival".

In weekend consultations with his advisers, Gantz apparently decided he would meet with Trump, but only in a private meeting on Monday, after which he plans to return to Israel immediately to lead the parliamentary hearing on Tuesday seeking to reject Netanyahu's plea for immunity from Israeli lawmakers. He had previously seen it as interference in the vote.

Netanyahu has said he plans to annex the Jordan Valley as well as Jewish towns across Judea and Samaria, which would all but extinguish any possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state.

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