Trump 'gave Israel green light' to annex occupied West Bank

Trump 'gave Israel green light' to annex occupied West Bank
Former President Donald Trump authorised Israel's annexation of parts of the Palestinian West Bank, according to a leaked letter.
2 min read
15 August, 2022
Trump's peace plan was widely rejected on the Arab street [Getty]

Former US President Donald Trump gave Israel a green light to annex large parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, days before announcing his controversial so-called 'Vision for Peace', according to a letter released by Israeli media.

The three-page letter dated 26 January 2020 sets out the Trump Administration's vision for the Palestinian territories which included Israel annexing large parts of the West Bank and leaving only slivers of land for a Palestinian state, sparking fury on the Arab street.

It would soon become US foreign policy when unveiled in the so-called 'Trump peace plan' two days later, which would see Israel take the Jordan Valley regions and annex illegal West Bank settlements.

The plan also demanded other huge sacrifices to Palestinian sovereignty such as giving Israel full control over its borders.

It coincided with a US-brokered normalisation push between Israel and some Arab states - the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

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The Palestinians, who were not involved in the 'Trump peace plan', slammed the vision as creating a 'Bantustan-style system' and not viable. The international community generally supports a two-state solution based on Israel-Palestinian 1967 boundaries and also did not take the plan seriously.

In the letter to former Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump writes "the policies outlined in... the Vision [for peace] regarding those territories of the West Bank identified as becoming part of a future Palestinian state", according to The Jerusalem Post.

"In exchange for Israel implementing these policies and formally adopting detailed territorial plans not inconsistent with the Conceptual Map attached to my Vision – the United States will recognise Israeli sovereignty in those areas of the West Bank that my vision contemplates as being part of Israel."

Israel warmly welcomed the peace plan, which was seen as being hugely biased toward Israel and viewed as extinguishing hopes of a two-state solution. Israel has since moved to annex Palestinian areas such as Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.

The leak comes after years of tense relations between Trump and Netanyahu, despite being viewed as the most "pro-Israel" president in US history.

The Palestinian Authority has slammed the letter, describing it as "official piracy and extension of the ominous Deal of the Century",

Trump's advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner appeared to claim that Netanyahu went off script by announcing plans to annex occupied West Bank territories.