After the embassy move to Jerusalem, “Israel will have to pay a higher price… The Palestinians will get something very good, because it’s their turn next,” Trump stated.
President Donald Trump stated that Israel will have to pay a “higher price” in its diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) after the US moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Speaking during a rally in West Virginia on Tuesday, Trump said that the PA will “get something very good” in return for the embassy move “because it’s their turn next.”
“If there’s ever going to be peace with the Palestinians, then this was a good thing to have done,” Trump said of the recognition of Jerusalem in December and the relocation of the US embassy to Israel’s capital in May.
Trump said that since Jerusalem is now “off the table,” Israel will have to give something in return to the Palestinians.
“We took it off the table. In past negotiations, they never got past Jerusalem. Now Israel will have to pay a higher price, because it’s off the table. The Palestinians will get something very good, because it’s their turn next,” he stated.
He did not elaborate.
Palestinian Rejectionism Persists
Attempting to explain Trump’s statement, Israeli Minister Tzahi Hanegbi told IDF Radio on Wednesday that Trump “must find an inroad to the Palestinians’ heart” and that it would be “rash on Israel’s side to treat him [Trump] as our contractor.”
The Palestinians have expressed strong rejection of Trump’s yet unveiled “Deal of the Century” peace plan “in any shape or form,” stressing that they will fight it “with all available means.”
The Palestinian Central Council (PCC) announced this weekend that it considered the Trump administration a “partner to the Israeli occupation government and part of the problem rather than the solution.”
It also stressed that “the continuation of the severing of political relations with the US administration until it retracts its illegal decisions on Jerusalem, refugees and settlements.”
The Palestinians have frozen all ties with Washington since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israeli Minister of Construction Yoav Galant reacted to Trump’s remarks by stating that “we will see what concessions are being discussed” and that there was no point in speculation at this time.
Is Unveiling of Plan Near?
The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported on Monday that Trump plans to introduce his Middle East peace plan during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York next month.
According to the report, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who have been working on the plan since early 2017, seek to introduce it under the “most optimal conditions,” and they see the General Assembly, where the world leaders will be present, as the best venue to do so.
Last week, the four envoys released a joint statement on Twitter acknowledging that “no one will be fully pleased” with the much-anticipated Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
“No one will be fully pleased with our proposal, but that’s the way it must be if real peace is to be achieved. Peace can only succeed if it is based on realities,” the statement said.
Al-Quds quoted an unnamed American official who stressed that it would be up to the Israelis and Palestinians to accept or reject the plan.
JNS contributed to this report.