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Will Trump include Jerusalem as Palestinian capital in peace plan?

Oct. 22, 2018 4:55 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 22, 2018 4:55 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Americans are trying "to pacify" Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is furious over the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and bring him back to the negotiating table; however, Israel still has friends in Washington who will oppose such a move.

According to Ynet news outlet, Israel is worried the US peace plan would include a declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of the two states, Israel and Palestine, in attempt to convince Abbas to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

The Palestinians have been boycotting Washington since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

According to Israeli diplomatic officials, the Americans have since been trying to figure out how to "pacify" Abbas, while also to receive the backing of the Arab world for the peace plan.

Israeli officials are worried that one of the enticements the US administration might present to Abbas would be mentioning Jerusalem as the future capital of the State of Palestine.

Ynet reported that a senior Israeli official said "Trump wants a deal and he's very serious. To the Americans, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is relatively easy to resolve and is ripe for the picking."

The official said "that if the Republicans lose power in the upcoming midterm elections, Trump might increase his efforts to reach a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so he could run for his second term with a big foreign policy achievement under his belt."

Including Jerusalem as a future Palestinian capital in the US peace plan could put Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bad position. Netanyahu could stress to the US that such a recognition would raise a lot of objection on the right-wing and make it difficult to build a coalition.

In such a case, the prime minister would likely ask to postpone the release of the US peace plan until after the elections in Israel.

In September, Trump mentioned his "dream" to reveal the peace plan, also known as the "Deal of the Century," in the next two to three months, "It is a dream of mine to get that done prior to the end of my first term. I think a lot of progress has been made. I think that Israel wants to do something and I think that the Palestinians actually want to do something."

Sources reported that senior Israeli officials revealed that the US Trump administration has been working off of three principles in forming the peace plan. First being anyone coming to the negotiating table would have to make concessions and that there would be no one-sided concessions. Second, anyone leaving the negotiating table would pay a price. Third, anyone rejecting the presented outline will risk the next outline being more to his disadvantage.

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