According to a report by the Emirati news website al-Khaleejonline on Wednesday, Arab and Palestinian sources quoted American officials close to the Trump administration as saying that the so-called “deal of the century” will likely be released on May 15.
The sources, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, explained that Washington has taken all the necessary steps to present its plan and has also obtained financing from Arab and other countries to ensure its implementation.
All the Arab countries, as well as the Palestinian Authority, are now in the stage of waiting for the American deal to be unveiled, and its contents will change the political map of the whole region, especially with the leaks that have emerged in recent months, the report said.
The prospect of peace between Israelis and Palestinians was dealt a major blow in December 2017, when Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel.
He also moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city on May 14, 2018, in what appeared to be an intentional coincidence with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day. The occasion marks the expulsion by Israel of Palestinians from their motherland.
Angered by Trump’s contentious move, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas boycotted the US administration, saying Washington was no longer qualified to serve as the sole mediator in the decades-long conflict with Israel, and that an international mechanism needed to be devised to replace the US in the so-called peace process.
Abbas has already rejected the initiative, calling it “the slap of the century,” because it is said to be hugely in favor of the Israeli regime.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has made regional tours over the past two years to secretly win support for the plan.
The unveiling has been postponed until after the April 9 Israeli elections apparently to favor the faction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has forged a close relationship with the Trump administration.
An unnamed source in the Persian Gulf region told Reuters in February that the initiative did not appear to take into consideration previously stated Arab demands on the status of Jerusalem al-Quds, the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland as well as the controversial Israeli settlements in the occupied lands.
Another source added that the proposal envisages a “substantial” financial contribution from the Persian Gulf states.
Hamas lawmaker Nayef al-Rajoub told al-khaleejonline that the “ominous” US deal has already begun through recent anti-Palestine measures adopted by the Trump administration.
The unveiling of the plan on Nakba Day has two implications, the lawmaker said. For one thing, he noted, it will attest to the close Washington-Tel Aviv ties, and for another, it will be a slap in the face of anyone who still sees America as an honest mediator in resolving the conflict.
Moreover, former Palestinian Authority minister of prisoner affairs Ashraf Ajrami has stressed that the possible launch of the US deal on the Nakba Day implies “an effective liquidation of the Palestinian cause.”
The US stance on the Palestine issue goes in “the negative direction,” especially following the recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel as well as the recognition of Israeli “sovereignty” over the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights, he added.