Trump to host Israeli PM and challenger as he prepares to release Mideast peace plan

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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

US President Donald Trump is expected to release his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan today at 17:00 GMT.

Both Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu, the frontrunners for the March 2 Israeli elections, have met with Trump to discuss the plan, the announcement of which has been delayed multiple times on account of tumultuous Israeli domestic politics. Following the movement of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership has spurned any talks led by Trump, rejecting the current US administration as a trustworthy arbiter.

Portions of the solution’s economic initiatives were made known in June. They include the creation of a $50 billion investment fund to boost economic activity and development in Palestine and the neighboring Arab countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

It remains unlikely that the PA will come around to the plan, making its successful implementation difficult. Given that the language of the deal reportedly eschews the phrase “two-state solution, ” it is unclear what, if any, international support the initiative will receive. The Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts and economic incentives will serve as an attempt to get neighboring Arab and the Gulf states on board. While their explicit support for the plan is unlikely, even neutral statements would be taken as encouragement by Washington to continue pushing the blueprint on the PA.

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