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Trump can broker Israel-Jordan deal but no Israel-PLO agreement

By David Singer - posted Tuesday, 28 March 2017


President Trump's Special Representative for International Negotiations – Jason Greenblatt – has returned from his wide-ranging meetings in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Amman and Jericho with zero prospects of Trump brokering a deal between Israel and the PLO.

However Greenblatt's belief in the pivotal role Jordan can play in resolving the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict was apparent in his tweet after meeting Jordan's King Abdullah II:

We agree on the need for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Jordan an important ally in this effort.

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According to the Jordan Times:

During the meeting, held at Al Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty stressed the US role in ending the stalemate in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and reviving negotiations that should lead to a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict, based on the two-state formula.

He asserted that reaching a just deal of a comprehensive peace that includes establishing a Palestinian state will reflect on efforts to achieve peace, security and stability in the region.

King Abdullah is whistling in the wind in believing another Arab state could still be established – in addition to Jordan – in the territory comprised in the Mandate for Palestine where Israel presently exercises sovereignty in 17% and Jordan 77% – whilst sovereignty remains undetermined in the last 6% - the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza.

Negotiations between Israel and the PLO to create that second Arab State have extended over the last 24 years and been dormant since April 2014.

Those negotiations have failed because Israel and the PLO have been unable to resolve core demands despite two offers having been made by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 to cede its claims in over 90% of the West Bank.

Israel's unmet demands are that:

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  1. The PLO recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people
  2. The major Jewish settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria be incorporated into the boundaries of Israel
  3. Israel retains security control over the Jordan Valley
  4. Jerusalem remains the eternal undivided capital of Israel
  5. Any such State be demilitarized

The PLO's unmet demands are that:

  1. The Palestinian State be granted sovereignty over all of the territory of the West Bank with its capital being located in East Jerusalem.
  2. All Jewish settlements located in the West Bank and East Jerusalem be dismantled and their inhabitants be removed.
  3. Palestinian Arab refugees who fled the 1948 Arab invasion of Western Palestine be allowed to return and settle in Israel.
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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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