Analytical conflict report on the ‘Israel-Palestinian peace plan’

Note on how to cite this journal:

Author, Date of the post, WMO Conflict Insight, Title of the post,  ISSN: 2628-6998, https://worldmediation.org/conflict-insight 

The background of the ‘Israel-Palestinian peace plan’ is who is entitled to settle in the Cis-Jordan region. The Jewish settlers claiming to have the right to live in this region, while, also the Arabic, and other, tribes, claiming that the region would be there historical settling area. Since the foundation of Israel, with its first recognized by the US government in 1948[1], it had the tendency to enlarge its territory which was successful during the six days war in 1967. Some of the Arabic settlers were resettled from some of their previous settlements to the Gaza Strip along the coast towards Egypt and the West Bank, along the Jordan valley, around Jerusalem. While both states do not recognize each other, the UN is about to formally support the two states solution since the 1970s. East Jerusalem is the supposed to be capital of the Palestine state, West Jerusalem should become the capital from Israel.

Main Course

As a recent development, the capital was already declared to be accepted by the US government under President Trump in 2017. Later in 2019, they also stated that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank were consistent with international law[2]. It is, however still questioned by the Arabic league as well as the EU and other nations.

In January 2020, the US government did propose, together with Israel, the ‘Israel-Palestinian peace plan’. President Trump called the deal a “realistic two-state solution.”[3] Which entails the annexation of 30% of the West Bank by Israel and put other conditions to the Palestine state, such as full recognition of Israel and to accept limited sovereignty. On the other side, Israel would accept the recognition of a State of Palestine, and they would be entitled to found their own capital on the outskirts of East Jerusalem. Finally, Israel would control the Jordan valley, which Palestine considers to be necessary to irrigate its 80,000 hectares of agricultural land in the West Bank.

The way forward is under the influence of several questions that are coming up in light of the current development. As such, it is to be elaborated how it comes that the US and Israel governments are proposing this plan right now. The geopolitical situation seems to be still relatively stable as a whole while some major regional and global powers are already quite engaged in some conflicts. Namely, the Iran conflict with US involvement, to a certain extent backed by Israel, gives already a background that further steps to ensure the security of the State of Israel are ongoing. China, on the one hand, as a member of the Security Council, is relatively quiet in the conflict, while gaining benefits of becoming the most important economic partner of Iran with its important oil reserves. At the same time, Russia is diverting the attention from its conflict in Eastern Europe and is building up training on the field for its military complex with its operations in Syria. Furthermore, the two other members of the Security Council, the former protective powers in the region, France and the UK, are stepping beside and pronounce themselves mainly through the EU. Which could give an opportunity for the EU for further integration, while the response to the peace plan is negative concerning several points and still relatively modest.

Finally, other global players, such as the economic powers of Germany and Japan, are also modest in their response. The first is pronouncing through their Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in a statement that Germany welcomed ‘every impulse to get the long-stalled Middle East peace process back up and running’[4].

Anyhow, some other regional powers, such as Turkey, are quite active in the region. However, they seem not to interfere with the peace plan since other stakeholders, such as Hamas, who is ruling the Gaza Strip at the moment and is rejecting the peace plan, would eventually lose power. As a reaction, Hamas already withdrew relationships with Israel and the US. On the other side, For Fatah, ruling the West Bank, it is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said, ‘he will express opposition to the White House peace proposal, but he won’t see a vote on a resolution against it’[5]. With a comparable position on the peace plan from the Arab League, they, are ‘backing Abbas, the Arab League unanimously rejects Trump’s Middle East peace plan’[6]. Some Arabic states, such as Oman, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, even though members of the Arabic League, were even thanked by the US president for the involvement in the peace process[7].

Conclusion

It can be identified that a number of questions are still open about the motivations of the different stakeholders in the conflict. For both conflicting parties, Israel on the one hand, and Hamas and Fatah on the other hand, the objectives seem to be clear, while for the regional powers Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab league this has to be answered awaiting their future actions. The same applies to the unclear role of Russia and China in the conflict as well as the positioning of the EU and other stakeholders.
As a result, some stakeholders are criticizing the peace plan, and other analysts seeing the ‘larger goal of Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu’s was to shift the starting point of any future negotiations sharply in Israel’s favor’[8]. In total, it might be a step relaunching the discussions on possible solutions for the Middle East conflict.

References

[1] https://nypost.com/2020/01/28/trump-netanyahu-unveil-plan-for-two-state-israel-palestine-peace/, 28 January 2020

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_peace_plan, last edited on 10 February 2020

[3] https://www.dw.com/en/trump-reveals-israeli-palestinian-peace-plan/a-52179629, , 28 January 2020

[4] https://www.dw.com/en/trump-reveals-israeli-palestinian-peace-plan/a-52179629, 28 January 2020

[5] https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/11/palestinian-authority-president-mahmoud-abbas-criticize-trump-middle-east-peace-plan-united-nations-security-council-israel-palestine/, 11 February 2020

[6] https://www.timesofisrael.com/backing-abbas-arab-league-rejects-trumps-middle-east-peace-plan/, 01 Februar 2020

[7] https://www.dw.com/en/trump-reveals-israeli-palestinian-peace-plan/a-52179629, 28 January 2020

[8] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/28/world/middleeast/peace-plan.html, 28 January 2020

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One Response

  1. Boris, thanks for detailing the Israeli-Palestinian settlement plan. I subscribe to the idea that this will help relaunch the process of negotiation. If it were possible to talk with both sides, the suggestion would have been not to tear the pages of the settlement plan, but renegotiate it on the approach of interest-based issues, not positional issues. the proposal is not a bible neither a Quran ro some sacred book. the parties should not ignore the table of dialogue or engage in a “dialogue fo the deaf”. Both countries need to realise that they cannot outdo each other, and our humanity calls us to respect our human dignity and the dignity of difference.

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