Just months after recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and days before moving the US Embassy there, Israeli media reports that US President Donald Trump now wants Israel to give part of the Holy City to the Palestinians.
The Trump Administration has been working for months on a new Middle East peace proposal that seeks to address the major sticking points like control of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees, rather than sidestep them until final-status talks, as all other proposals have done.
Israel’s Ma’ariv daily newspaper reports that when he visited Washington last week, Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman was made privy to details of this new proposal, in particular the portion relating to Jerusalem.
According to the report, Israel will be asked by Trump to relinquish four Arab neighborhoods on the eastern side of Jerusalem. Abu Dis (where the Palestinian Authority already has a parliament building), Isawiya, Shuafat and Jabl Mukabar would become the new Palestinian capital of “Al Quds.” Jerusalem’s Old City, it is reported, would be placed under international supervision.
Already the plan would cut off some Jewish neighborhoods, like Pisgat Ze’ev, from the rest of Israeli-controlled Jerusalem. Some fear this would be only the first step toward the Palestinian Authority claiming even wider swaths of the city.
It was also reported that in exchange for accepting this proposal, Israel would receive total and unquestioned American backing in handling the Iran nuclear threat however it sees fit.
US officials denied the report in remarks to other Israeli media outlets.