From Hamas to Moscow: Trump's Israel-Palestine Plan Draws Mixed Reactions

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Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu deliver joint remarks on a Middle East peace plan proposal at White House in Washington, January 28, 2020.
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu deliver joint remarks on a Middle East peace plan proposal at White House in Washington, January 28, 2020.Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. President Donald Trump's peace plan draws mixed reactions from the international community following his announcement of the much-awaited plan on Tuesday at the White House, alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Jordan's foreign minister said on Tuesday the only path to a comprehensive and lasting Middle East peace was the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 lines and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

>> LIVE UPDATES: Trump's peace plan calls for two states, settlement freeze 

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"Jordan supports every genuine effort aimed at achieving just and comprehensive peace that people will accept," Ayman Safadi said in a statement issued after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his administration's proposed peace plan.

Safadi called for serious and direct negotiations that solve all final status issues, including protecting Jordan's interests, and warned against the "dangerous consequences of unilateral Israeli measures ... that aim to impose new realities on the ground."

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group on Tuesday rejected Trump's Middle East peace plan as a means to destroy Palestinians' rights, and accused Arab states of being complicit in a "deal of shame" that bodes ill for the region.

"The settlement project under this deal is one of the biggest dangers and aims to do away with the right of return and to rob the Palestinian people of the right to their land ... and to create social and demographic tension and sedition that only serve the enemy's interests and expansionist goals," the movement said in a statement.

Moscow has urged Israel and Palestinians to "negotiate directly" after Trump plan.

Turkey dismissed Trump's plan on Tuesday as an attempt to steal Palestinian lands and kill off prospects of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

"This plan is an annexation plan that is aimed at killing the two state solution and stealing Palestinian lands," Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, describing the proposals as "stillborn."

Senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya slammed the plan presented by Trump as "nonsense" and calls it a "hostile deal" for the Palestinian people. "The Palestinians will exert all possible efforts, using all means, to confront it until it is toppled," vows the leader.

Another Hamas leader, Sami Abu Zuhri, said "Trump's statement is aggressive and it will spark a lot of anger." He also called it "nonsense" and said "Jerusalem will always be a land for the Palestinians ... The Palestinians will confront this deal and Jerusalem will remain a Palestinian land."  

An adviser to Iran's president said on Tuesday that Trump's peace plan is solely a deal between the United States and Israel, dismissing the proposal as one of "imposition and sanctions." 

"This is a deal between the Zionist regime (Israel) and America. Interaction with Palestinians is not on its agenda. This is not a peace plan but a plan of imposition and sanctions," Hesameddin Ashena tweeted after Trump unveiled details of plan in Washington. 

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a leader of Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement also said "Trump's deal is blatant U.S. aggression on Palestine and the nation, and it is a deal funded by Saudi [Arabia] and the UAE to cement Israeli occupation. The people of the region have to bear the responsibility of standing up to this danger and facing it with every possible and legitimate means."

A senior Democratic senator said the proposal "will only lead to more division and conflict," noting that the Palestinians have been excluded from the planning.

"Claiming to advance peace without the involvement of one party to the conflict is a diplomatic hoax that undermines the chance of a genuine two-state solution," Senator Chris Van Hollen wrote on Twitter. "It's an 'anti-peace' plan," he added. 

Britain called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to give fair consideration to a U.S. plan to bring peace to the Middle East, foreign minister, Dominic Raab, said on Tuesday. "This is clearly a serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort," said Raab in a statement.

"Only the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories can determine whether these proposals can meet the needs and aspirations of the people they represent. We encourage them to give these plans genuine and fair consideration, and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations," he said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesperson said the U.S. Middle East plan could be a positive step after a phone call on Tuesday between Johnson and President Donald Trump.

"The leaders discussed the United States' proposal for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which could prove a positive step forwards." 

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