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Israeli Official: We Will Confront Trump if Peace Plan Calls for Vacating Settlements

Israeli Official: We Will Confront Trump if Peace Plan Calls for Vacating Settlements

Thursday, 22 August, 2019 - 08:30
President Donald Trump smiles at Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they deliver statements at the White House in Washington, US, March 25, 2019. (Reuters)
Ramallah - Kifah Zboun

A senior Israeli official said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is more than prepared to stand up to US President Donald Trump on his peace initiative, dubbed “Deal of the Century”, should it contain demands rejected by the Israeli government.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that Netanyahu has long proven his ability to stand up to US presidents and that he is willing to do so to Trump should it be needed.

According to the official, who appears to be shoring up Netanyahu ahead of upcoming Israeli elections, the PM has already informed Trump about the policies he will reject.

They include demolishing homes in West Bank settlements, dividing Jerusalem or allowing Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to homes from which they fled or were evicted following Israel's establishment in 1948.

Netanyahu also stressed that Israel should retain full control over all areas west of the Jordan River, the senior official added.

The PM has repeatedly spoken out on Israel’s refusal to give up territory west of the Jordan River and that it wants to retain military control over those areas, even after the signing of a peace agreement.

Palestinians, for their part, rejected any Israeli military presence on their land after the creation of a Palestinian state.

Remarks made by the Israeli official come only days after Trump announced his administration would be revealing the long-awaited peace plan after Israel's elections. But the US president also revealed that Washington could be publishing parts of the deal ahead of the polls.

The 2019 Knesset election is slated for September 17. The Trump administration is expected to give Israel a couple of weeks to form a government before releasing the terms of the peace plan.

Netanyahu urged Israelis to elect him for office again, saying that he should spearhead peace negotiations.

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