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US Leader Trump Presents Mideast Peace Plan

2020-1-28

American President Donald Trump has presented his plan to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Talks between the two sides halted almost six years ago.

The Trump plan calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state. That is a main issue Palestinian leaders have long called for: a "two-state" answer to the conflict.

However, Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Trump's Middle East peace deal a "conspiracy" that "will not pass."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech following the announcement by the U.S. President Donald Trump of the Mideast peace plan, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech following the announcement by the U.S. President Donald Trump of the Mideast peace plan, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta

The 50-page political document expands on an earlier 30-page economic plan for the West Bank and Gaza Strip released last June. It calls for $50 billion in international investment in the Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab areas.

Trump announced the plan at the White House Tuesday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood with the American leader as he spoke.

Trump noted that he has done a lot for Israel. But, he said, he wants the plan to be a, in his words,“great deal for the Palestinians.” He called it an “historic opportunity” for Palestinians to gain an independent state. He said the plan would permit a Palestinian capital in parts of East Jerusalem.

Trump administration officials said the plan greatly increases territory under Palestinian control. It also recognizes Israeli control over large settlements in the West Bank, a proposal that many Palestinians will likely oppose.

Palestinian leaders say they were not invited to attend the announcement. Many have rejected Trump’s approach to the conflict. They argue that his policies support only Israel.

Trump met separately Monday with Netanyahu and his main political opponent Benny Gantz. After, Netanyahu said there is a chance to "make history and define Israel's borders."

Gantz also praised the peace plan as "historic.” He said he looks forward to putting it into effect if he becomes Israel’s next prime minister after elections in March.

The Trump administration has been working on a peace plan since it took office in 2017. The president said he delayed presenting it because of what he says is political uncertainty in Israel.

But some Palestinian leaders have refused to work with the U.S. They dismissed the peace plan even before it was publicly released. Many Palestinians are angry with Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the U.S. embassy there. Palestinian negotiators want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

They are also angry about U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statements about Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the plan was no more than a way to, in his words, "finish off the Palestinian cause."

Shtayyeh said, "We reject it and we demand the international community not be a partner to it because it contradicts the basics of international law and inalienable Palestinian rights."

I’m Caty Weaver.

VOA News reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for Learning English, with additional reporting from the Associated Press. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.
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Words in This Story

opportunity - n. an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done: a chance

approach - n. a way of dealing with something: a way of doing or thinking about something

uncertainty - n. something that is doubtful or unknown: something that is uncertain — usually plural

contradict - v. to say the opposite of (something that someone else has said) : to deny the truth of (something)

inalienable - adj. impossible to take away or give up

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