The so-called "peace deal" authored by White House adviser Jared Kushner was met with protests and condemnation by Palestinians on Tuesday ahead of an expected announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, D.C.
With critics calling it the opposite of a peace plan as well as an effort for both leaders to distract from domestic legal and political scandals, the proposal was set to be unveiled jointly by the two leaders just hours after Netanyahu was formally indicted on corruption charges back home and amid the second week of an impeachment trial against Trump in the U.S. Senate.
Palestinian leaders urged the international community to boycott the plan that the pair are set to unveil, with Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh calling the deal "nothing but a plan to finish off the Palestinian cause."
"This is a plan to protect Trump from impeachment and protect Netanyahu from prison. It is not a Middle East peace plan."
—Mohammad Shtayyeh, Palestinian prime minister"This is a plan to protect Trump from impeachment and protect Netanyahu from prison. It is not a Middle East peace plan," Shtayyeh said. "We reject it and we demand the international community not be a partner."
The deal reportedly will allow Israel to annex large swaths of Palestinian territories, all of contested Jerusalem, and Israeli settlements.
Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman—vocal proponents of Israeli settlements in the West Bank—were largely responsible for drafting the deal, while Palestinian leaders were not invited to the discussions.
Trump said Monday that the deal was "very good for" Palestinians and called it "historic."
"Palestinian freedom isn't for Trump to give away or for Netanyahu to steal," countered Rabbi Alissa Wise, acting co-executive director at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), on Twitter.
Palestinian freedom isn’t for Trump to give away or for Netanyahu to steal. #DOAPeacePlan
— Rabbi Alissa Wise (@AlissaShira) January 27, 2020
Sending love and rage to Palestinians all over the globe today. I’m certain that in response to these callous, vicious overreaches they just confirm that the world will rise to realize freedom for Palestine and us all. https://t.co/TwxeN4pn2C
— Rabbi Alissa Wise (@AlissaShira) January 28, 2020
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Shtayyeh said the deal "contradicts the basics of international law and inalienable Palestinian rights," and Palestinian leadership threatened to withdraw from the Oslo Accords—in which Israel recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a party to peace negotiations—over the plan.
At protests on the Gaza Strip, Palestinians held up pictures of Trump and Netanyahu with red marks crossing them out.
"We will not allow this deal to pass and we will resist it in every way in order not to open the way for it, as we consider it as a way to put an end to our national rights," Talal Abu Zarifa, Democratic Front leader, told the Middle East Eye at a demonstration.
“We will not allow this deal to pass”
Palestinians gear up for mass protests to denounce Trump’s Israel-Palestine plan, which they say is an attempt to finish off their cause. pic.twitter.com/6huGvATeiA
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) January 28, 2020
Palestinians in Rafah (Gaza Strip) protesting Trump Mideast peace plan. More Palestinian protests expected later Tuesday and Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/l48dDpygTo
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) January 28, 2020
On social media, JVP highlighted a number of actions taken by the Trump administration in the past three years to undermine Palestinians' human rights, including cuts to humanitarian aid, endorsing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, and claiming Israel has ownership of Golan Heights in Syria.
We know that no peace can come without justice for Palestinians, and that means building and supporting a broad-based effort that allows for self-determination and equality. JVP commits to working towards this future for all in Israel/Palestine. #DOAPeacePlan pic.twitter.com/Hk4ADFpzcQ
— Jewish Voice for Peace (@jvplive) January 28, 2020
"We know that no peace can come without justice for Palestinians, and that means building and supporting a broad-based effort that allows for self-determination and equality," tweeted the group. "JVP commits to working towards this future for all in Israel and Palestine."