US Slams Unanimous Arab League Rejection of Mideast Peace Plan
A senior US official has slammed the Arab League’s unanimous rejection of President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan – dubbed the “deal of the century.” The unnamed official was quoted by media as saying that “it is only by having a [willingness] to try a new approach that we will make a breakthrough in a conflict that has left the Palestinian people to suffer for decades.… [Otherwise], the Palestinian people’s fate will not change.” The comments came after the Arab League, during an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday, rejected the plan “considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people.” Arab leaders further vowed “not to… cooperate with the [Trump] Administration to implement this plan.” Moreover, they warned Israel against annexing territories in the West Bank amid growing calls in Jerusalem to do so. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had vowed to immediately press forward with applying sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and all Jewish communities in the West Bank. However, his government has since backtracked amid pushback by members of President Trump’s peace team. In this respect, Washington reportedly wants Israel to wait until after the March 2 national election before moving forward with annexations. According to reports, the US also wants Israel to formally accept the plan in its entirety, which could pose a problem for Netanyahu given that many of his right-wing political allies oppose the very notion of Palestinian statehood. Meanwhile, Israeli media reported that CIA Director Gina Haspel was secretly dispatched to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian officials, who purportedly promised not to cut security coordination with Washington. The Arab League’s decision is believed to have taken the Trump Administration by surprise given that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Morocco, among other regional countries, had in the aftermath of the proposal’s release last Tuesday issued statements tacitly approving its parameters as a basis for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.