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Tags: ML | Mideast | US | Peace | Plan
Netanyahu Ally Says West Bank-Gaza Corridor 'Irrelevant'

Netanyahu Ally Says West Bank-Gaza Corridor 'Irrelevant'

Sunday, 23 June 2019 10:38 AM EDT

The Trump administration's newly unveiled Mideast peace plan drew chilly responses from its regional allies on Sunday, just days before this week's long awaited conference in Bahrain.

An Israeli minister called a major piece of the White House's "peace to prosperity" plan "irrelevant," while Jordan and Egypt restated their support for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pouring cold water on Washington's focus on economic issues.

The $50 billion economic plan, published on Saturday, calls for massive infrastructure projects and job creation for Palestinians. But it makes no mention of the core political issues of the conflict: the contested holy city of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees, or the borders of a future Palestinian state.

American officials say these issues will not be raised at this week's Mideast peace conference in Bahrain. Neither Israel nor the Palestinians will have official representation at the two-day summit.

The Trump administration said it did not invite Israeli officials in order to keep the conference apolitical. The Palestinians have refused to attend, saying the U.S. plan adopts hard line Israeli positions and neglects the longstanding two-state solution.

Speaking Sunday in an interview with Israeli public radio, Cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said one of the proposals in the Trump plan— a land link connecting the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip — was "irrelevant" so long as the Hamas militant group controls the latter.

The Trump administration's outline calls for "a major road and, potentially, a modern rail line" between the two Palestinian territories to "reduce the complications of travel for Palestinians" and stimulate commerce.

"It will be relevant when Gaza will stop being a pro-Iranian terror kingdom, meaning it's irrelevant today and in the foreseeable future," said Hanegbi, Israel's minister for regional cooperation and a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, Egypt and Jordan, two close American regional partners who have agreed to attend the Manama summit, both responded to the peace plan by restating their support for a two-state solution to the conflict.

Sufian Qudah, a spokesman for Jordan's Foreign Ministry, said that while Jordan would attend the conference, "no economic proposal can replace a political settlement to the conflict which must be resolved according to the two-state solution."

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
The Trump administration's newly unveiled Mideast peace plan drew chilly responses from its regional allies on Sunday, just days before this week's long awaited conference in Bahrain.An Israeli minister called a major piece of the White House's "peace to prosperity" plan...
ML, Mideast, US, Peace, Plan
372
2019-38-23
Sunday, 23 June 2019 10:38 AM
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