Since US President Donald Trump was on the election trail he has been touting the so-called Deal of the Century between Arabs and Israelis. Two years later, very little is known about the deal. However, Palestinians expect it to be extremely biased in Israel’s favour. If the deal is so great, then why does it remain shrouded in mystery?
On Saturday, the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, gave an interview where he alluded to the possibility of Israel annexing some parts of the Occupied West Bank. This, of course, would be a part of the ‘historic deal’ and would be, of course, completely unacceptable to the Palestinians. The strange thing about this US administration is that it seems to be orchestrating the deal without consulting with the Palestinians at all. This only adds credence to Palestinian fears that a completely unacceptable and biased plan will be forced upon them.
An annexation of the West Bank, would be entirely unacceptable, not only to the Palestinians, but to the rest of the world which does not recognise Israel’s occupation there.
Already there is an economic conference planned in Bahrain this month aimed at offering huge economic incentives for Palestinians to accept the deal. Again, the Palestinians say they are not going to attend and reiterate their position that any deal discussed without their involvement will be “dead on arrival”. It is time for the US administration to lay out the deal for all to see, instead of drip-feeding cryptic messages, every few months fuelling speculation about what the deal would look like.
An annexation of the West Bank, would be entirely unacceptable, not only to the Palestinians, but to the rest of the world which does not recognise Israel’s occupation there. Most of the world also did not support the unilateral move by the US under Trump to relocate the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem or to remove the word ‘occupied’ from Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The US also accepted Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights and has been completely acting at Israel’s behest on the international scene.
At the UN it has eliminated US funds for organisations that support Palestinian refugees, in what observers see as a symbolic move to reject the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands in what is now considered Israel. The US administration under Trump has, in fact, been the most pro-Israeli administration in history, breaking with decades of US policy there. It seems that the Palestinians are being prepped to accept the deal through force with huge economic pressure being piled on the leadership to come to the negotiating table.