CLOSINGS: View Closings

President Trump's Mideast plan cheers Israelis, angers Palestinians

President Donald Trump speaks during an event with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. AP image

Trump's plan calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in east Jerusalem while recognizing Israeli sovereignty over major settlement blocs in the West Bank — something the Palestinians are unlikely to accept.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 1:19 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2020 1:20 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday unveiled his long-awaited Middle East plan, which was celebrated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “vision for peace” but is likely to continue to be opposed by Palestinians who say it favors Israel and falls short of their goal of creating a viable independent state.

Trump's plan calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in east Jerusalem while recognizing Israeli sovereignty over major settlement blocs in the West Bank — something the Palestinians are unlikely to accept.

Trump called his plan a “win-win” for both Israel and the Palestinians, but it was created without input from Palestinian leaders and they already had rejected it before the president unveiled it at the White House with Netanyahu by his side.

Trump acknowledged that he has done a lot for Israel, but he said he wanted the deal to be a “great deal for the Palestinians." He said his vision gives the Palestinians the time needed to rise up and meet the challenges of statehood.

Thousands of Palestinians protested in Gaza City ahead of the announcement, burning pictures of Trump and Netanyahu and raising a banner reading “Palestine is not for sale.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he planned to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the plan and invited officials of Hamas, an Islamic militant group that seeks Israel's destruction. The official Wafa news agency quoted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as calling on Palestinian factions to set their differences aside and unite against the plan.

The plan calls for a four-year freeze in new Israeli settlement construction, during which time details of a comprehensive agreement would be negotiated. However, it was not immediately clear if the freeze could be extended if a final deal is not concluded in the four years.

Trump said he sent a letter to Abbas to tell him that the territory that the plan has set aside for a new Palestinian state will remain open and undeveloped for four years.

"It's going to work," Trump said. "If they do this, it will work. Your response to this historic opportunity will show the world to what extent you are ready to lead the Palestinian people to statehood."

"President Abbas, I want you to know, that if you chose the path to peace, America and many other countries ... we will be there to help you in so many different ways. And we will be there every step of the way," Trump said.

The 50-page political outline goes further in concessions to the Palestinians than many analysts had believed was likely. However, it would require them to accept conditions they have been previously unwilling to consider, such as accepting West Bank settlements. It builds on a 30-page economic plan for the West Bank and Gaza that was unveiled last June and which the Palestinians have also rejected.

Under the terms of the “peace vision" that Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been working on for nearly three years, the future Palestinian state would consist of the West Bank and Gaza, connected by a combination of above-ground roads and tunnels.

Netanyahu and his main political challenger in March elections, Benny Gantz, had signed off on the plan.

“Mr. President, because of this historic recognition and because I believe your peace plan strikes the right balance where other plans have failed,” Netanyahu said. “I've agreed to negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of your peace plan. It's a great plan for Israel. It's a great plan for peace.”

The White House event came as Trump's impeachment trial continues in the Senate and Israel's parliament had planned a hearing to discuss Netanyahu’s request for immunity from criminal corruption charges. Netanyahu withdrew that request hours before the proceedings were to begin, but Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is still expected to meet. The body had been likely to vote against immunity, dealing Netanyahu a blow.

In the run-up to the March 2 election, Netanyahu had called for annexing parts of the West Bank and imposing Israeli sovereignty on all its settlements there. Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and the Jordan Valley in particular is considered a vital security asset.

Security responsibility for the Jordan Valley would remain in Israel's hands for the foreseeable future but could be scaled back as the nascent Palestinian state builds its capacity, under the terms of the plan, which says that statehood will be contingent on the Palestinians meeting international governance criteria.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the plan's release, said they expected negative responses from the Palestinians, as well as Turkey and Iran, but were hopeful that Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab nations to have peace treaties with Israel, would not reject it outright. The officials said they expected Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others to cautiously welcome the plan.

Arab League chief, Ahmed Abuel-Gheit said the Palestinian reaction would define the Arab response to Trump's peace plan. He spoke after meeting with Palestinian offices Gibreel al-Ragoub at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

The reaction of Jordan, which would retain its responsibilities over Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque under the plan, will be particularly significant, according to the officials, who said Kushner and others were reaching out to Arab leaders ahead of the rollout.

The Palestinians see the West Bank as the heartland of a future independent state and east Jerusalem as their capital. Most of the international community supports their position, but Trump has reversed decades of U.S. foreign policy by siding more blatantly with Israel. The centerpiece of his strategy was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the American Embassy there. He's also closed Palestinian diplomatic offices in Washington and cut funding to Palestinian aid programs.

Those policies have proven popular among Trump’s evangelical and pro-Israel supporters and could give him a much-needed boost from his base as he gears up for a reelection battle this year.

But the Palestinians refuse to even speak to Trump and they called on support from Arab leaders. The Palestinian leadership also has encouraged protests in the West Bank, raising fears that the announcement in Washington could spark a new round of violence. Ahead of the announcement, the Israeli military said it was reinforcing infantry troops along the Jordan Valley.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 455783

Reported Deaths: 6166
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin945441502
Ramsey40698749
Dakota33623354
Anoka31398368
Washington20579237
Stearns18111190
St. Louis14006251
Scott1221199
Wright11811107
Olmsted1083075
Sherburne831270
Carver705639
Clay660684
Rice624774
Kandiyohi558772
Blue Earth549533
Crow Wing490678
Otter Tail464968
Chisago460438
Benton423788
Winona394948
Douglas379766
Nobles374847
Mower374429
Goodhue358163
Polk330760
McLeod328647
Beltrami316148
Morrison314645
Lyon306139
Becker289439
Itasca287843
Isanti286143
Carlton284443
Steele279510
Pine270515
Freeborn254723
Todd233730
Nicollet230538
Brown218634
Mille Lacs215745
Le Sueur214416
Cass210824
Meeker201533
Waseca193316
Wabasha17483
Martin172026
Roseau166517
Hubbard151138
Redwood141327
Houston140314
Dodge13974
Renville138540
Chippewa133232
Cottonwood129118
Fillmore12778
Wadena120818
Rock112012
Aitkin111533
Faribault110116
Sibley11017
Watonwan10698
Pennington101016
Kanabec99818
Pipestone97223
Yellow Medicine95016
Murray9137
Jackson87310
Swift84718
Pope7485
Stevens7078
Marshall70415
Clearwater68814
Lake66415
Lac qui Parle66116
Wilkin63510
Koochiching60810
Lincoln4912
Big Stone4703
Unassigned43968
Grant4388
Norman4268
Mahnomen4167
Kittson37420
Red Lake3204
Traverse2623
Lake of the Woods1981
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312194

Reported Deaths: 4433
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46975465
Linn18114279
Scott15900172
Black Hawk14123243
Woodbury13145181
Johnson1231752
Dubuque11651159
Pottawattamie9182115
Dallas910872
Story883538
Cerro Gordo474372
Webster473377
Warren461539
Sioux460457
Clinton459168
Marshall432262
Buena Vista397230
Muscatine396578
Des Moines395543
Plymouth353670
Wapello351798
Jasper333359
Lee326932
Marion310853
Jones275250
Henry269131
Carroll258934
Bremer250448
Crawford235824
Washington224133
Boone223517
Benton213950
Mahaska198637
Jackson195332
Tama190959
Dickinson189229
Kossuth180944
Delaware176536
Clay173021
Wright167624
Fayette166324
Hamilton162530
Buchanan162324
Winneshiek161020
Harrison158762
Hardin157831
Cedar155819
Clayton153949
Butler152324
Page148115
Floyd141936
Cherokee140327
Mills138517
Lyon137933
Poweshiek135424
Hancock132424
Allamakee131530
Iowa128022
Madison124210
Calhoun12379
Grundy122828
Jefferson122425
Winnebago122329
Mitchell117137
Louisa116430
Cass115343
Chickasaw113812
Appanoose113040
Sac112815
Union111723
Emmet111332
Humboldt107819
Shelby106427
Guthrie104624
Franklin103618
Unassigned10210
Palo Alto92611
Montgomery89224
Keokuk86426
Howard85919
Monroe82620
Clarke8199
Pocahontas78711
Ida76430
Davis70421
Adair69720
Greene6977
Monona68418
Lucas66910
Osceola65011
Worth6224
Taylor6009
Fremont5276
Van Buren50515
Decatur4994
Ringgold45511
Audubon4258
Wayne42021
Adams3023
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 18°
Mason City
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: -4°
Albert Lea
Clear
10° wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 2°
Austin
Clear
12° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 12°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
10° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 0°
Cold and dry through Friday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Just for Kix's "virtual" Winter recital

Image

New grant available for Iowa bars and restaurants

Image

Is hydrogen the future of fuel in Minnesota?

Image

Gov. Walz unveils two-year state budget proposal

Image

Pandemic impact on youth suicide

Image

Bernie Sanders Mittens

Image

Minnesota Recovery Budget

Image

Human Trafficking Awareness

Image

Rochester Civic Music Concert

Image

Dry January Slowing Liquor Sales

Community Events