January 28, 2020 / 6:47 PM / 20 days ago

Factbox: U.S. Middle East peace plan prompts some praise, much Arab anger

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed the creation of a Palestinian state with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem is seen behind the Israeli barrier, in an area Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Below are some of the reactions to the U.S. plan for ending decades of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

“And on this day, you too have charted a brilliant future, a brilliant future for Israelis, Palestinians and the region, by presenting a realistic path to a durable peace.”

“I know that there’ll be opposition. There’s always opposition. I know there will be many obstacles along the way, much criticism. But we have an old Jewish saying: ‘If not now, when? And if not us, who?’”

PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS

“I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass.”

SAMI ABU ZUHRI, AN OFFICIAL WITH PALESTINIAN ISLAMIST GROUP HAMAS

“Trump’s statement is aggressive and it will spark a lot of anger ... Trump’s statement about Jerusalem is nonsense and Jerusalem will always be a land for the Palestinians ... The Palestinians will confront this deal and Jerusalem will remain a Palestinian land.”

JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AYMAN SAFADI

“Jordan supports every genuine effort aimed at achieving just and comprehensive peace that people will accept.”

Safadi said the only path to a comprehensive and lasting peace was the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on pre-1967 lines and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF

“The so-called ‘Vision for Peace’ is simply the dream project of a bankruptcy-ridden real estate developer. But it is a nightmare for the region and the world. And, hopefully, a wake-up call for all the Muslims who have been barking up the wrong tree.”

U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES

Guterres is committed to helping Israel and the Palestinians broker peace on the basis of U.N. resolutions, international law, bilateral agreements and the vision of two states based on pre-1967 borders, his spokesman said.

EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT

“Egypt calls on the two relevant parties to undertake a careful and thorough consideration of the U.S. vision to achieve peace and open channels of dialogue, under U.S. auspices, for the resumption of negotiations.”

YOUSEF AL OTAIBA, UAE AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON

The United Arab Emirates believes the Palestinians and Israelis can achieve lasting peace and genuine co-existence with the support of the international community, and the plan offers an important starting point for a return to negotiations within a U.S.-led international framework, the ambassador said.

LEBANON’S IRAN-BACKED HEZBOLLAH GROUP

“The settlement project under this deal is one of the biggest dangers and aims to do away with the right of return and to rob the Palestinian people of the right to their land ... and to create social and demographic tension and sedition that only serve the enemy’s interests and expansionist goals.”

TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT

“This plan is an annexation plan that is aimed at killing the two-state solution and stealing Palestinian lands.”

MOHAMMED ALI AL-HOUTHI, A LEADER OF YEMEN’S IRAN-ALIGNED HOUTHI MOVEMENT

“Trump’s deal is blatant U.S. aggression on Palestine and the nation, and it is a deal funded by Saudi (Arabia) and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) to cement Israeli occupation.”

ISRAELI FAR-RIGHT DEFENCE MINISTER NAFTALI BENNETT

“We will not allow the government of Israel to recognize a Palestinian state in any eventuality.”

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY DOMINIC RAAB

“This is clearly a serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort... We encourage them (the Israeli and Palestinian leaders) to give these plans genuine and fair consideration, and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations.”

SAUDI ARABIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

“The kingdom reaffirms its support for all efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue.”

“The kingdom appreciates efforts by President Trump’s administration to develop a comprehensive peace plan between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, and supports starting direct peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel under U.S auspices.”

QATARI FOREIGN MINISTRY

“Qatar affirms its readiness to provide the required support for any endeavors within these foundations to resolve the Palestinian issue... peace cannot be sustainable unless the rights of the Palestinian people to establish an independent and sovereign state on the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem, and to return to their lands are safeguarded.”

MAHER AL-TAHER, A SENIOR OFFICIAL IN THE POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE, A MILITANT GROUP

“The ‘deal of the century’ announced by Trump belongs in the trash of history because the Palestinian people will foil this deal which targets the complete liquidation of the Palestinian cause ... The Palestinians stand united in rejecting this deal but we must now seize the opportunity in the face of this grand conspiracy to overcome our divisions, unite ranks and end the phase of the Oslo accords ... after the tangible failure of this path.”

MAHMOUD NAYEF, A PALESTINIAN REFUGEE LIVING IN DAMASCUS

“The smallest Palestinian cub would not agree to the ‘deal of the century’. We tell the idiot Trump that President Mahmoud Abbas will never submit to U.S. pressure, to blackmail or to U.S.-Zionist threats.”

ABU NASSER TABARANI, A PALESTINIAN IN BURJ AL-BARAJNEH REFUGEE CAMP IN LEBANON

“(The plan) doesn’t mean anything to me, neither Trump, nor Kissinger, nor Nixon, nor Bush will determine the destiny of the Palestinian people. We are going to return, God willing.”

U.S. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY

“After years of empty promises while systematically dismantling decades of bipartisan U.S. policy in order to benefit only one party, it is farcical to call something a ‘deal’ and impose it on the other party knowing it will be rejected. It is a plan that would diminish the prospects for peaceful coexistence, while damaging our country’s hard-won role as a force for stability in the Middle East.”

ROBERT MALLEY, PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP THINK TANK

An abandoned Palestinian parliament building is seen in a general view picture of the Palestinian town of Abu Dis in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, east of Jerusalem January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

“Strip away the domestic and Israeli political considerations that determined the timing of the plan’s release, and the message to the Palestinians, boiled down to its essence, is: You’ve lost, get over it. And the message to other partners is that they have inflicted grievous harm by humoring what the Trump team deems unrealistic Palestinian demands.”

EMIRATI POLITICAL SCIENTIST ABDULKHALEQ ABDULLA

“100 years ago, the Balfour Declaration (in which Britain endorsed the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East) gave 40% of Palestine to the Israelis, and today the Trump Declaration presented the rest of Palestine to the Israeli enemy.”

Reporting by Reuters bureaux, Compiled by Timothy Heritage; Editing by Janet Lawrence and Toby Chopra

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