WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday denied reports from a Lebanese television channel that its supposed peace plan will include a three-way deal between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Gaza Strip.
“Rumors about the content of the Trump Administration peace plan are false,” a senior administration official told The Times of Israel. “We are confident that the so-called source has not seen the plan.”
The report — by the pro-Hezbollah Al-Mayadeen — features details that starkly contradict the limited information that Washington has released about the proposal, and that stand at sharp odds with known US and Israeli positions.
For instance, the report, which was widely covered in Hebrew-language media Monday, said the United States would end its economic support for Israel if its government rejects the deal. It also said the plan provides for establishing a Palestinian state in Gaza and parts of the West Bank to be called “New Palestine.”
The settlement blocs in the West Bank would be annexed into Israel, along with isolated settlements, the report claimed. The Jordan Valley would remain under Israeli control. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has in recent weeks said he has US agreement to annex the Jordan Valley.
The same ending of support was said for the Palestinians, although the report claimed that if Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad groups balk, and the PLO accepts, it would distinguish between the Ramallah leadership and the terrorist groups.
The report further claimed that, in the deal, Saudi Arabia would become custodian of the highly sensitive Temple Mount. The Jerusalem holy site is currently under Jordanian and Palestinian custodianship and secured by Israeli police. Israel would apparently retain overall sovereignty at the Mount, the report indicated.
The details outlined in the Al-Mayadeen differ dramatically from comments made about the plan by US officials, including senior adviser Jared Kushner’s repeated indications that the plan would not provide for Palestinian statehood.
Purported leaks of the content of the plan have occurred frequently in recent months, with the US administration routinely dismissing them as unfounded speculation, and noting that it will make the details public at a time of its choosing.
The Trump White House has repeatedly delayed publication of the peace proposal. Earlier this year, officials said it would unveil the plan after Israel formed a new government following its March elections.
They later said they would wait until the conclusion of the November elections, after Netanyahu failed to form a government.
Now, with Israel heading into an unprecedented third elections in less than a year, the administration has put the proposal on the back burner once again, officials told The Times of Israel.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report.