Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Tuesday announced that his government had submitted a counter-proposal to the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace plan. It calls for the creation of a “sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarized,” with only “minor modifications of borders where necessary.” The counter-proposal was submitted to the so-called Quartet, made up of the United States, European Union, Russia and United Nations. The PA has vehemently rejected the US initiative, which, by contrast, envisions Israel’s annexation of about 30% of the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has vowed to push forward by quickly annexing all Jewish communities in the disputed territory, although reports surfaced on Tuesday that the White House was conditioning its support on the approval of Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz. Washington apparently wants a broad consensus in the Israeli cabinet. Shtayyeh described annexation as an “existential threat” to the Palestinian national movement and stressed that if Israel pressed ahead, Ramallah would declare statehood on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with the eastern part of Jerusalem as its capital.
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