Palestinians rage as Trump prepares to unveil Mideast plan

Trump deal: A prize for Israel at the expense of Palestine

Volume 90% Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans and wave Palestinian flags as they stand by flaming tires during a protest in Gaza City, Gaza Strip on January 28, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Responding to a call by their leaders, thousands throng in protest across the Palestinian territories in the run-up to Donald Trump’s unveiling of a contentious scheme, which his administration has drawn up as a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The US president is to detail the plan, which is reportedly the brainchild of his son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner and took three years of craftsmanship, during a White House event at 1700 GMT on Tuesday alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The event will not be featuring any Palestinian officials, who have already rejected the plan, which Trump calls “the deal of the century.”

Trump deal: A prize for Israel at the expense of Palestine

Trump deal: A prize for Israel at the expense of PalestinePalestinian leaders voice their strong opposition to the so-called ‘peace’ plan which Trump is preparing to unveil, emphasizing the need for popular resistance against the scheme.

As the hour drew near, Israeli troops reinforced their positions near a flashpoint site between the city of Ramallah and the Israeli settlement of Beit El in the Israel-occupied West Bank, Reuters reported.

The agency also cited an Israeli military spokesman as saying that the regime had sent reinforcements to the Jordan Valley, a strategic strip of the territory.

In the Gaza Strip, protesters trampled on posters of Trump, vowing to reclaim the holy occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds and not allow Washington to dent their rights.

The protest came after Palestinian leaders from different factions called for popular resistance against Trump’s deal, which is said to be hugely biased in favor of the regime in Tel Aviv.

Palestinians chant slogans as they demonstrate west of the city of Nablus in the north of Israel-occupied West Bank on January 28, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Coinciding with the White House ceremony is an emergency meeting of Palestinian leaders from the rival Fatah and Hamas movements in the occupied West Bank.

Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission to Britain, told Reuters in London that Trump’s plan was merely “political theatre.” “It is not a peace deal…Jan. 28, 2020 will mark the official legal stamp of approval of the United States for Israel to implement a full-fledged apartheid system,” he said.

Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, also said the plan was a means of deflecting attention from Trump and Netanyahu’s own domestic travails. “The problem is it doesn’t feel like this is the beginning of an important initiative,” Alterman said.

Israeli forces patrol past a field near the al-Hamra checkpoint in the Jordan Valley in the Israel-occupied West Bank on January 28, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Trump was impeached in the House of Representatives last month and is on trial in the Senate on abuse of power charges.

Netanyahu has been convicted in three corruption cases and faces a likely trial.

Israel is the United States’ biggest regional ally and has vigorously been supported by successive American administrations.

Under Trump, however, Washington unprecedentedly ramped up the support by respectively recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital,” relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city, stopping its classification of the Israeli settlements that are built on occupied territory as illegal, and undertaking recognition of Syria’s Golan Heights as the regime’s “sovereign territory.”

The deal, nevertheless, is widely expected to take the US’s pro-Israeli brinksmanship to a whole new level. Various reports have warned that it seeks to lay the groundwork for Israel’s annexation of about half of the West Bank, which the regime occupied in 1967, including most of the Jordan Valley.

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