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Trump administration to reveal Middle East peace plan 'next month'

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner attends the US embassy opening in Jerusalem [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 May, 2018

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Palestinian willingness to even consider a US peace plan would require anger to subside considerably in the coming weeks.
The Trump administration is aiming to reveal its long-awaited Middle East peace plan next month, officials have said.

Five US officials and a congressional aide say the White House intends to reveal the peace plan in mid- to late-June, shortly after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Associated Press reported.

The plan's main authors - President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and Trump's special envoy for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt - have already begun quietly briefing select allies and partners on elements of the proposal, the officials said.

Yet any Palestinian willingness to even consider the plan would require conditions to improve and anger to subside considerably in the coming weeks, an unlikely scenario after Trump's Jerusalem embassy move and Israel's massacre of dozens of Palestinian protesters.

Kushner was among the attendees at the embassy's inauguration on Monday as unarmed Palestinians were gunned down by Israeli troops mere miles away.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who said the US can no longer be an honest broker in any peace deal, recalled the Washington envoy earlier this week in protest.

Nearly 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, drawing condemnations and calls for restraint from Europe and elsewhere. The US declined to join those calls and opposed efforts at the UN to open an international investigation into the massacre.

Palestinians have also been isolated further with cuts to funding of humanitarian projects in the West Bank and Gaza.  More than $200m in US aid is currently blocked and could be reassigned to projects elsewhere in the region.

The figure does not include an additional $65 million in frozen US assistance to the UN agency for Palestinian regfugees (UNWRA), which provides services in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan and Lebanon. 

US allies in Europe and the Persian Gulf also have felt compelled to criticise the administration for its approach, though Trump is likely to need their support to build enough momentum for any peace plan to succeed, AP reported.

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