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‘Deal of the century’ committed to realisation of ‘Greater Israel’ project

Aug 08,2018 - Last updated at Aug 08,2018

US President Donald Trump's "deal of the century" is certain to turn the Arabs against his administration if publicly presented. The only country in this region that could possibly accept the "deal" is Israel. The "deal" has, after all, been concocted by conspirators fully committed to the realisation of the "Greater Israel" project and the disappearance of the Palestinian people, whose very existence undermines Israel's legitimacy.

The chief conspirators are, of course, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, US Ambassaor to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump is at the heart of the conspiracy.

According to leaks of the main points in the "deal", Gaza, along with Jerusalem, "refugees" and a viable Palestinian state would be taken off the agenda.

Gaza would be treated as an economic "basket case" rather than a component of a Palestinian state. An industrial zone would be built in Egypt's North Sinai where both Gazans and Egyptians would be employed. A new power station would be constructed in Gaza with money from the Gulf, which would also invest $1 billion to promote economic development in the strip and provide a decent future for its population, now 2 million.

One billion dollars is nowhere near enough to replace or repair the damage and devastation Israel has wrought in Gaza in recent years. Following Israel's assaults in 2008-2009 and 2014, there were never delivered pledges of $4 billion, with the US contributing. In Trump's proposals everybody but the US always pays.

Egypt would open its border with Gaza to two-way traffic of persons and goods, and Israel would ease its blockade and siege of Gaza to facilitate commerce. Reconciliation between Gaza's Hamas rulers and the Authority would be tried yet again, but if failed, Gaza would remain under Hamas and would be treated as an entity separate from the West Bank. Palestinians living under Israeli occupation would be divided permanently between Gaza under Hamas with Egypt as the overlord, the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority or its successor and East Jerusalem under Israel. This would remove any possibility of the emergence of a Palestinian state.

Trump, personally, tried to remove occupied East Jerusalem from the issues to be resolved through Palestinian-Israeli negotiations when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the US embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv. The substitute was to be Abu Dis, a small West Bank town not long ago a village. The Abu Dis ploy has been around for years and has been flatly rejected by the Palestinians. Abu Dis is hardly a substitute for East Jerusalem, the old city within its cream and gold walls, and its suburbs with stately stone built homes, hotels, shops, schools, hospitals, churches, mosques and cultural centres. For Palestinians, East Jerusalem is the heart and head of their oft-promised state.

Trump has also attempted to remove 5 million Palestinian refugees from consideration if and when peace talks are convened. His administration has paid only $65 million of the usual US contribution of $365 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides for refugees living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Trump and his team seek to remove descendants of the 750,000 Palestinians driven from their homes and villages during Israel's war of establishment. This would leave only the dying generation, estimated at 40,000, and, ultimately, lead to UNRWA's demise.

The majority of the refugees would no longer be regarded as refugees and would be absorbed by host countries, which would receive funding, perhaps even the currently missing $300 million, to provide jobs, homes, schools and infrastructure to sustain the resettled Palestinians.

Once this happens, the Trumps expect that Palestinians’ attachment to Palestine, their homeland, will fade in time. Palestinians would cease to exist. Those living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would live under apartheid, 1948 Palestinians with Israeli citizenship would continue to be regarded as "Israeli Arabs" and remain second-class citizens, and others would join their exiled brethren. The word "Palestine" would, in the pipedreams of the Trump gang, cease to exist. Genocide by occupation and dispersion would become the fate of the Palestinian people.

On the territorial issue, Israeli settlements and colonies, which would continue under the "deal", would define for the foreseeable future the borders of Israel, removing that issue from the table.

Palestinians would be graciously granted autonomy in the urban islets of territory they inhabit in the West Bank, less than 11 per cent of Palestine. Israel would control land borders as well as airspace. This would remove the issue of a Palestinian state from the world's agenda and there would be no need for negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

However, Trump's "deal" has been torpedoed by the Palestinian Authority and the Arabs before its details have been worked out and the final version is officially launched by Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman or, perhaps, even Trump himself.

Palestinians fired the first torpedo. They have flatly rejected the entire package. President Mahmoud Abbas, the man who thought he would make peace with Israel, has dismissed the "deal" as the "slap of the century" and has declared he will not commit "treason" by considering it.

Jordan's King Abdullah has said there can be no peace without Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. His declaration eliminated Trump's effort to remove the holy city and the issue of the Palestinian state from the agenda.

Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Radi stated, "Egypt supports all efforts and initiatives to reach a comprehensive agreement, based on international resolutions made in the past and on the principle of two states for two peoples in the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine."

Saudi King Salman has taken over the Palestinian file from his son, Crown Prince Muhammad, and declared that the Kingdom will not agree to any Arab-Israeli peace plan that does not address the status of East Jerusalem, territory seized by Israel in 1967, and Palestinian refugees and their descendants. He reiterated Riyadh's commitment to the 2002 Saudi peace plan endorsed by the Beirut Arab summit, which calls for full Israeli withdrawal from Arab territory occupied in 1967 in exchange for peace and normal relations with the Arab world.

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