A picture taken on February 3, 2019 in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv shows a giant election billboard of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump shaking hands. The writing on the billboard reads in Hebrew "Netanyahu, in another league". (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump to Release Rest of Mideast Peace Plan after Israeli Elections

US President Donald Trump intends to release the political components of his years-in-the-making Israeli-Palestinian peace plan after the Jewish state’s September 17 national elections, although some elements may be presented beforehand. “I probably will wait [until the vote is completed], but we may put out pieces of it,” Trump said. He added that ending the longstanding conflict is the “toughest deal of all” due to “decades of hate” between the sides. The Trump Administration came under fire in June when it sponsored a conference in Bahrain where only the economic parts of the proposal were unveiled. At the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Manama, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who has spearheaded the US peace push, revealed an economic development plan worth $50 billion, just over half of which would be allocated to projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the rest divided between Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. While the Palestinian Authority imposed a boycott on all administration officials following President Trump’s recognition in December 2017 of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the US leader nevertheless seemed optimistic that progress can be made. “I cut [funding to] the Palestinians because they speak very badly about our country,” President Trump said in reference to his decision to suspend an estimated $500 million in aid to the PA. “Now we are paying nothing, but I think we are going to get further because I could see opening that up again,” he said.

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