Trump Undecided When to Release Political Components of Mideast Peace Plan
US President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether to release the components of his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan before or after Israel’s September 17 national elections, according to lead American negotiator Jason Greenblatt. The envoy implied that one of the mitigating factors was the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing refusal to engage the Trump Administration, which Ramallah has been boycotting since the US recognition in December 2017 of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Nevertheless, Greenblatt, who along with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has been spearheading the peace initiative, stressed that Washington was not seeking regime change in the West Bank, and expressed hope that PA President Mahmoud Abbas would return to the negotiating table. He also reiterated the US’ opposition to dealing with the Hamas terrorist group, which rules the Gaza Strip. “This conflict will only be resolved by direct negotiations between [Israelis and Palestinians],” Greenblatt said, adding that, “it’s not for the United States or the European Union or the United Nations to [impose a solution].” The Trump Administration in June revealed the economic elements of its peace proposal at a conference in Bahrain, which aimed to raise $28 billion for infrastructure and development projects in the Palestinian territories, in addition to $22 billion earmarked for Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.