Launch date for Trump peace plan depends on Israeli election outcome – report
search

Launch date for Trump peace plan depends on Israeli election outcome – report

Sources say administration waiting until after general elections and coalition negotiations to release long-awaited proposal

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, right, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, on June 22, 2018. (Matty Stern/US Embassy Jerusalem/Flash90)
US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, right, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, on June 22, 2018. (Matty Stern/US Embassy Jerusalem/Flash90)

US President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan will be unveiled by mid-June, White House sources told Channel 13 news on Monday, though an exact date has yet to be set.

The date will depend on a number of factors, including the outcome of Israel’s general elections, and the next prime minister’s progress in forming a governing coalition, the report said.

It said the White House was also taking into account national holidays, and Jewish and Muslim religious festivals, in choosing a date.

Earlier on Monday, Blue and White party chief Benny Gantz said that if he wins Tuesday’s election, he expects the Trump administration to delay the release of its peace plan until after he forms a government.

“I expect the American administration to see that I won the election, and to hold off with their plans until I can form a government,” Gantz told the Walla news site in an interview. “After that, we can sit down and discuss the plan in an organized and orderly way.”

He promised to seriously consider whatever the US proposed for the region, and said he hoped the White House had not already given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu details of the plan that has been in the works for two years.

Washington had promised to unveil its long-promised proposal sometime after Tuesday’s election, in which Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term.

Netanyahu, running for re-election while facing the possibility of indictment on corruption charges, has cited his close relationship with Trump to underline his experience as a statesman with personal ties to world leaders.

In the run-up to Tuesday’s vote, the prime minister has hosted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, visited Trump in the White House, and received both American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and, on Monday, a US designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organization.

Last week, Netanyahu said he had informed Trump that not “even one person” would be evicted from a settlement under any US peace plan. At the weekend, he said he would gradually apply Israeli sovereignty at all West Bank settlements, and hoped to be able to do so with US support.

On Saturday, Trump struck a cautious tone about the outcome of Tuesday’s vote, saying the “close” race for the premiership was between “two good people.”

The latest polls place Netanyahu and Gantz neck-and-neck, but give the former the advantage in his ability to form a coalition government.

read more:
comments