US President Donald Trump has announced at the G7 summit in Biarritz that he might reveal his Mideast peace plan before the September 17th Israeli parliamentary elections.
According to him, “We’re going to know who the Israeli prime minister is going to be fairly soon. A deal won’t be before the election, I don’t think… But I think you may see what the deal is before the election. And I think the deal will happen… Everybody says, that’s the deal that can’t be made… Israel and the Palestinians: there’s tremendous hatred for many, many decades, and everybody says that is a deal that can’t be made. So we’ll see if we can make it.”
The US President also expressed why he thinks the Palestinians will accept the deal.
“I think they want to make a deal, the Palestinians, and I think Israel would like to make a deal too. I think people, after so many years and decades, I think they’re a little tired of fighting. I cut off most funding to the Palestinians, a lot of funding. And I think they’d like to get it back,” Trump said.
As of now, only the economic aspect of the plan has been revealed by Special Advisor Jared Kushner. The economic part of the peace plan essentially consists of $50 billion to go towards the real needs of the Palestinian people.
The plan seeks to double the gross domestic product (GDP) of Palestinians, create approximately one million jobs for Palestinians, reduce unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza from 30 percent to single digits, and halve the percentage of poverty among the Palestinian population.
The Trump Administration wants to raise a good chunk of these funds from Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon as part of its plan. According to the White House report, $15 billion of the total $50 billion investment will come from grants, $25 billion in the form of subsidized loans and approximately $11 billion from private capital.
The money contributed by the US and these donor countries will finance 179 economic projects in areas such as infrastructure, water, energy, telecommunications, tourism, and medical services. Of that total, 147 of the projects will be for the West Bank and Gaza, 15 for Jordan, 12 in Egypt and five in Lebanon.
The proposal includes tens of millions of dollars that will be allocated to connect Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula for infrastructure – such as upgrading high-voltage lines and increasing electricity supply – and trade.
The plan includes the construction of a five billion dollar pathway such a road or possibly a railroad between the West Bank and Gaza. It also seeks to inject 950 million dollars in the tourism industry for the Palestinians.