Trump to Release Middle East Peace Plan by Tuesday

U.S. President says Palestinians 'may react negatively at first, but it is actually positive for them and they have a lot of incentive to do it'

Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at Miami International Airport, January 23, 2020.
AFP

President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration will publish the long-awaited Mideast peace plan before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington on January 28.

Trump discussed the timing of the plan's release with two architects of the plan, senior advisers Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz, on Air Force One while returning to Washington from Switzerland. He said the administration has spoken to Palestinians and will speak to them beforehand as well. "They may react negatively at first, but it is actually positive for them and they have a lot of incentive to do it."

"It's a great plan," added Trump, who will meet with Netanyahu and Benny Gantz at the White House on Tuesday. "I'd love to be able to do that deal," he said, "They say that's the hardest of all deals." 

Israeli officials said that the plan would promise the application of Israeli sovereignty to all existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank, in addition to annexing the Jordan Valley, which would become Israel's eastern border.

The Palestinian Authority released a statement Thursday that "If the plan is released on the basis of the details that have come to light so far, which we reject vehemently, the Palestinian leadership will declare a series of steps by which we will preserve the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and Israel will bear responsibility as the occupying entity. We warn Israel and the U.S. administration against crossing red lines."