WASHINGTON – The Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan is currently being finalized and it will not include an explicit endorsement of a two-state solution, according to a report published Monday by the New York Times.
Instead, according to the report, the plan will include a list of potential steps that could promote two states. A White House official told Haaretz that the administration remains committed to its position that if both sides endorse a two-state solution, so will the United States. This position was repeated recently by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during a speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference.
The NYT report, which is based on briefings by three White House officials, said the upcoming plan will not be based on clear principles such as the ones listed in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative proposed by Saudi Arabia.
The Times report stated that the plan is currently being finalized and could be unveiled by the administration in the near future, although no clear deadline has been set.
The article mentioned the plan may likely be "dead on arrival" because of the Palestinian leadership's refusal to engage with the United States after President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December.
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The report also said the plan will not endorse a "fair and just solution" for Palestinian refugees and their descendants – a stipulation that has appeared in peace plans over the years. Instead, it will "offer steps to deal with the issue of refugees." This could decrease the likelihood of the Palestinian leadership agreeing to work with the administration on the basis of its peace plan.
Under the current circumstances, with the Palestinians already claiming the Trump administration is biased and is adopting the positions of Israel's right-wing government, the administration will have to convince the Palestinian public and the leaders of other Arab countries that its peace plan is fair and beneficial to both sides.
The New York Times reported that "diplomats from Arab countries said the Jerusalem decision had made it politically untenable for them to press the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to return to the table because of the outcry it would cause within their own publics."
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