Trump's 'Deal of the Century' won't include Jordan-Palestine confederation, US envoy says

Trump's 'Deal of the Century' won't include Jordan-Palestine confederation, US envoy says
US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy has said that Washington's still-secret Israel-Palestine peace deal will not include a proposed union between Palestine and Jordan.
3 min read
25 April, 2019
Trump's envoy also rejected claims the plan would offer Sinai land to Gaza [Twitter]

One of the architects of Washington's "Deal of the Century" said on Wednesday that the US Israel-Palestine peace plan will not include a union between Palestine and Jordan.

The full details of the plan will be revealed at the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in June, Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to US President Donald Trump, announced on Tuesday.

It had previously been rumoured that the US peace deal would propose land swaps between Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt had already taken to Twitter last week to proclaim reports the proposal would grant part of Egypt's Sinai desert to the adjacent Gaza Strip were "false!".

"@KingAbdullahI & #Jordan are strong US allies," tweeted Greenblatt on Wednesday.

"Rumors that our peace vision includes a confederation between Jordan, & the PA, or that the vision contemplates making Jordan the homeland for Palestinians, are incorrect. Please don’t spread rumors."

Details of the plan are still secret.

Kushner, speaking at a Time magazine forum on Tuesday, did not make clear whether the plan would call for a two-state solution.

While Palestinian leaders have repeatedly called for the establishment of an independent state in the West Bank and the currently besieged Gaza Strip, election promises made by re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have further complicated matters.

Netanyahu promised to annex illegal settlements in the West Bank after his re-election.

With illegal settlements dotted across the entirety of the West Bank, their annexation by Israel would destroy already shaky hopes for the territorial continuity of a future Palestinian state.

The issue of the future of illegal settlements and their residents has long been a sticking point in US-brokered peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

Another issue has been that of Jerusalem, one of the most intractable problems in past negotiations.

Both Palestinians and Israelis claim a unified Jerusalem as their capital, but previous negotiations have threatened to relegate the capital of a future Palestinian state to East Jerusalem, currently occupied by Israel and claimed as half of its own capital, or Abu Dis, a neighbouring town in the West Bank.

Trump's 2017 decision to recognise Jerusalem, both east and west, as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy to the city was condemned by both Palestinians and the international community, and signaled that a Trump administration-brokered peace plan may reject Palestinian claims over the city.

Trump also recognised Israel's annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights last month in a move widely condemned by the international community.

Palestinian politicians have said that such decisions mean Trump cannot be an "honest broker" in any peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.