Trump’s Peace Plan Has Provoked Hamas and Its Counterparts
After two years of waiting for Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, we now know what its aims are — thanks to the 181-page plan dubbed “The Deal of the Century.”
The proposal offers Palestinians areas of land along Israel’s western border, linked to the Gaza Strip, as well as new patches of territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA). President Trump stated that his plan would “more than double the Palestinian territory and provide a Palestinian capital in eastern Jerusalem,” where the US would open an embassy. Meanwhile, the rest of Jerusalem “will remain Israel’s undivided capital.”
Trump has made it clear he is trying to offer a win-win situation for both parties and has even sweetened the pot for the Palestinians. If they accept this proposed plan, the Palestinians would be entitled to $50 billion in investments by the United States.
This investment is divided into $26 billion in loans, $13.5 billion in grants, and $11 billion in private investment. Of the $50 billion, the majority will be invested in Palestine, while the rest will be invested in Palestinians living in neighboring countries — $9 billion in Egypt, $7 billion in Jordan, and $6.3 billion in Lebanon.
The peace plan was met with Palestinian demonstrations and criticism. In light of the proposed plan, PA President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed it as a conspiracy. “I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for a bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass,” Abbas stated in a televised address from Ramallah in the West Bank.
The Islamic State has also responded to this deal, through a 37-minute audio speech by Al-Qushri, the new Caliph of the Islamic State. Al-Qushri called for a new wave of violence that would threaten Israel and Jewish targets. He called on ISIS factions in the Sinai and the Levant to attack Israeli sites, which in the past have primarily avoided direct attacks by ISIS.
“Today, we have begun a new stage in our war against you,” Al-Qushri said. “Go for the Israeli settlements and marketplaces. Turn them into lands for testing your weapons and chemical rockets and other types [of weapons].”
Hamas also responded to the deal with harsh words, with its spokesperson Hazem Qassem pledging that his organization would foil any such agreement. Moreover, Basem Naim, head of Hamas’ international relations office, tweeted that the release of the “Deal of the Century” means a “new Nakba (Catastrophe),” and said it will “trigger a new intifada.”
For 71 years, Israel has desperately been trying to achieve a comprehensive peace with its neighbors, but has instead been marred in endless conflict. In light of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian dispute, many Israelis are tired of the continuous cycle of destruction and terror, wishing for it to end.
And although Trump’s proposed “Deal of the Century” is far from perfect, it offers the groundwork for a stable and hopeful future for both Israel and Palestine. However, the main challenge to its implementation is that one side (Israel) is willing to end this needless conflict, while the other (the Palestinians) is still committed to jihad.
In response to the peace plan, the Arab League unanimously approved a resolution rejecting the proposal outright. It said that “it does not satisfy the minimum of the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also showed his disapproval, as he met with Hamas representatives and formally opposed the Trump administration’s plan, portraying Turkey’s opposition to it as an Islamic cause.
In essence, the Palestinians didn’t even have time to comb through the nuances of the deal. Since they were relentlessly pressured to reject it by neighboring Muslim nations that have their interests in seeing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continue — and many Palestinians themselves. Accordingly, the PA has now cut off its preexisting ties with Israel and the United States.
Furthermore, many militant Palestinian factions are using this “peace plan” as a justification for further conflict. These factions seek to rally support from neighboring states, which will funnel funds and arms to these radical groups to continue the ongoing conflict to their geopolitical benefit. Hamas and ISIS have already both declared they would strike at the heart of Israel and the Jewish people, a threat Israel shouldn’t take lightly.
Thus, while Israel attempts to end the Palestinian conflict through peaceful and diplomatic means, it should also prepare for retaliation from detractors, who seek to undermine this peace plan through violence and terror.
Adam Brafman is a political expert working as an external adviser to publications and providing corporations with political risk assessments. He writes about current affairs in the Middle East and how they might affect Israel.