After Russia, EU Slams Trump's Peace Plan: Challenges Basis for Palestinian State

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Josep Borrell speaks during a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on January 14, 2020.
Josep Borrell speaks during a debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on January 14, 2020.Credit: FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

The Trump administration's plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace "challenges many of the internationally agreed parameters" for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the European Union's top diplomat said on Sunday.

High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell said that the plan throws into question "the 1967 border, as agreed by both parties, with a state of Israel and an independent, viable state of Palestine, living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition."

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Speaking in Jordan, Borrell said Amman "plays a very special role" in efforts to end the conflict, noting its role as custodian of holy sites in Jerusalem. "We share the commitment to a two-state solution and respect for international law," he added.

Earlier Sunday, Russian news agencies cited a Kremlin spokesman as saying that the plan contravenes several United Nations resolutions and questioning the plan's feasibility.

"We see the reaction from the Palestinians, we see the reaction of a wide range of Arab states which have sided with the Palestinians in rejecting the plan. This, obviously, makes one think about its feasibility," Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying.

U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled the long-awaited proposal last week in Washington. It would allow Israel to annex all its West Bank settlements — which the Palestinians and most of the international community view as illegal — as well as the Jordan Valley, which accounts for roughly a quarter of the West Bank.

Mahmoud Abbas holds a placard showing maps of Palestine at an Arab League emergency meeting, Cairo, February 1, 2020Credit: AFP

In return, the Palestinians would be granted statehood in Gaza, scattered chunks of the West Bank and some neighborhoods on the outskirts of Jerusalem, all linked together by a new network of roads, bridges and tunnels. Israel would control the state’s borders and airspace and maintain overall security authority. Critics of the plan say this would rob Palestinian statehood of any meaning.

The plan would abolish the right of return for Palestinian refugees displaced by the 1948 war and their descendants, a key Palestinian demand. The entire agreement would be contingent on Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other armed groups disarming, something they have always adamantly rejected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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