It was the best of plans, it was the worst of plans.
US President Donald Trump confused many people Tuesday by appearing to contradict himself during the part of his speech concerning the status of Jerusalem under his administration’s peace plan.
On the one hand, Trump said Jerusalem will remain Israel’s “undivided capital,” stressing the word “undivided.” But he also said the capital of the Palestinian state would be “in eastern Jerusalem” which appears to indicate the city will be divided between the two states after all.
The actual plan tries to reconcile those two statements. It says the Jerusalem section of the security barrier Israel constructed during the Second Intifada to stop rampant Palestinian terror attacks will become the border between the two states.
That means the Palestinian capital will be only in the few East Jerusalem neighborhoods that are within the city’s municipal boundaries but outside the security barrier.
“We believe that returning to a divided Jerusalem, and in particular having two separate security forces in one of the most sensitive areas on earth, would be a grave mistake,” the plan states.
“While a physical division of the city must be avoided, a security barrier currently exists that does not follow the municipal boundary and that already separates Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem from the rest of the neighborhoods in the city,” it continues.
“This physical barrier should remain in place and should serve as a border between the capitals of the two parties. Jerusalem will remain the sovereign capital of the State of Israel, and it should remain an undivided city. The sovereign capital of the State of Palestine should be in the section of East Jerusalem located in all areas east and north of the existing security barrier, including Kafr Aqab, the eastern part of Shuafat and Abu Dis, and could be named Al Quds or another name as determined by the State of Palestine.”
The plan says that “Arab residents” of East Jerusalem inside the security barrier will be able to choose to either become citizens of Israel, citizens of the Palestinian state, or retain their status as permanent residents of Israel.