Jerusalem will remain united under mostly Israeli control with some responsibilities shared with a Palestinian state including the West Bank and Gaza, according to a purported draft copy of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” peace plan for the Middle East published by the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV channel on Monday.
The unconfirmed reported draft details the timetable and methods of the plan.
The parts that were released by the TV channel, which is based in Lebanon and affiliated with Hezbollah, discuss a trilateral peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Israel in which a “new Palestinian state” would be established in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, excluding the settlement blocs which would remain as a part of Israel.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are currently in talks to hold overarching elections for the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem.
Jerusalem will not be split up in the agreement, but instead will be “shared” between Israel and the Palestinian state, with the Arab population of the city becoming residents of the Palestinian state, according to the reported draft.
Al-Aqsa Mosque will be put under Saudi Arabian control instead of Jordanian control, according to the reported draft. The mosque is currently administered by the Waqf, an arm of the Jordanian Ministry of Sacred Properties. It is unclear whether the rules currently prohibiting non-Muslim prayer at the site would change under Saudi Arabian control. It is also unclear why this change would take place.
The Jerusalem municipality would become responsible for the entire city of Jerusalem, but the Palestinian state would be responsible for education and would pay the Israeli municipality taxes and utilities.
Jews will not be allowed to purchase Arab homes and Arab won’t be able to purchase Jewish home – and no additional areas will be annexed to Jerusalem. Holy sites in the city will remain as they are today, according to the report.
In the Gaza Strip, Egypt would grant land to the new Palestinian state in order to build an airport and industrial facilities. Palestinians would not be able to live in the lands provided by Egypt.
A highway and a pipeline for treated water would be built between Gaza and the West Bank, according to the reported draft. The United States, the European Union and the Gulf states would help implement the agreement and sponsor it economically. “An amount of $30 billion will be allocated over a period of 5 years for projects related to the new Palestinian state,” reported Al-Mayadeen.
The United States will provide 20% of the funds in the agreement, while the EU will provide 10% and the Gulf nations will provide 70%. The contribution provided by the Gulf nations will be split between them according to their oil producing capabilities.
According to the draft, an agreement will be signed between Israel and the new Palestinian state, with Israel providing protection to the state from “external aggression,” while the Palestinians pay for it. The amount that the Palestinians will need to pay for this protection will be negotiated between the Arab nations and Israel.
The Al-Mayadeen report detailed a timetable provided in the draft copy of the agreement.
Upon the signing of the agreement, Hamas will hand over its weapons and armaments to Egypt, and members of Hamas will receive monthly salaries from Arab nations. The borders of the Gaza Strip will be opened to international trade through the crossings with Israel and Egypt and by sea. Trade will also open between Gaza and the West Bank.
A year after the agreement is signed, democratic elections will be held for the Palestinian state, with all Palestinian citizens being able to run as candidates. Around that time, all prisoners would begin being released, to be completed over a period of three years.
Within five years, a seaport and airport will be established for the Palestinian state. Until that point, Palestinians will be able to use Israeli ports.
The borders between the Palestinian state and Israel will be open to the passage of civilians and goods. A highway that rises 30 meters above the ground will connect Gaza to the West Bank. The highway would be built by a Chinese company.
The Jordan Valley would remain under Israeli control, according to the report. Highway 90 will be expanded and will link the Palestinian state with Jordan. The highway will be supervised by the Palestinians.
If Hamas and the PLO reject the deal, the United States will end all financial support they provide to the Palestinians and will try to prevent other countries from providing support to the Palestinians.
If the PLO accepts the agreement and Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist groups don’t accept, then the two organizations would bear the responsibility of their decision. In any military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, the US will support Israel in order to harm the leaders of Hamas and PIJ, as the US won’t accept a situation in which dozens of people control the fate of millions.
If Israel rejects the deal, the US will end economic support to the state, according to Al-Mayadeen.
Although Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the US is biased, one of his chief advisers reportedly said they would not reject Trump’s plan outright.
A letter published in The Guardian by former EU officials, including six prime ministers and 25 foreign ministers, called for postponing the “Deal of the Century” because it is unfair to the Palestinians.
In the letter, which was sent to the European Union and EU governments, the former leaders argue that Europe must stand by the two-state solution and condemn the Trump administration’s policy, which they claim is unilaterally in favor of Israel.