Palestinians free to make own peace offer: US

Palestinians free to make own peace offer: US

US President Donald Trump (AFP Photo)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday urged Palestinians who rejected President Donald Trump’s West Asia peace plan to come up with a “counter-offer” that could win Israeli support, as he headed to Britain on a five-nation tour.

Pompeo was on his way to London to help forge to a post-Brexit alliance with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Palestinian leaders were “free to come up with a counter offer if that’s what they think is appropriate”, Pompeo told reporters.

Trump’s proposals reportedly included no Palestinian input and grants Israel much of what it has sought in decades of international diplomacy. Johnson was one of the first to voice support for Trump’s proposals on Tuesday and said in his defence that “no peace plan is perfect but this (one) has the merit of a two-state solution”.

Plan rejected

Palestinians have rejected the proposals which grants the Israel full control of Jerusalem and allows it to annex the Jordan Valley as well as the settlements that dot the Palestinian territory. In exchange, the Palestinians are being offered statehood covering West Bank and Gaza, as well as the prospect of billions of dollars in aid and investment.

Reacting to Trump’s announcement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Jerusalem was “not for sale”. “All our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain,” he added.

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli minister said a Cabinet vote to endorse annexation West Bank areas will not take place early next week, despite Netanyahu’s pledge to act quickly.