Top U.S. Diplomat: President Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan ‘Truly Historic’
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as “truly historic” President Donald Trump’s long-anticipated but yet-unveiled Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The top American diplomat hinted that the proposal would offer the Palestinians full-blown statehood, reinforcing President Trump’s recent comments that the administration believes the two-state solution is the best model for ending the conflict. Devised over nearly two years primarily by senior adviser Jared Kushner and chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt, the comprehensive plan will, according to Pompeo, be rolled out “before too terribly long, and we are hopeful that both sides will have constructive conversations to lead to that.” Relations with Washington were severed by Mahmoud Abbas’ Ramallah-based government in the wake of the U.S.’ recognition in December of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the subsequent relocation of the American Embassy to the holy city. Abbas repeatedly has refused to engage in any U.S.-led peace initiative, prompting the White House to cut-off hundreds of millions of dollars in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority and withhold funds earmarked for projects and services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including those provided by the United Nations agency that tends to Palestinian refugees. In his speech, Pompeo announced a further suspension of $165 million to the PA over its failure to abide by the Taylor Force Act, a law that precludes the State Department from financing Ramallah due to its annual payments in excess of $300 million to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel as well as to the families of those killed in clashes with Israeli security services.