President Trump has appeared to dampen expectations that his “ultimate deal” to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict will shortly emerge.
The only clue given so far is this statement from the White House:
What we can say is we are engaged in a productive dialogue with all relevant parties and are taking a different approach than the past to create an enduring peace deal. We are not going to put an artificial deadline on anything and we have no imminent plans beyond continuing our conversations. As we have always said, our job is to facilitate a deal that works for both Israelis and Palestinians, not to impose anything on them.
Israel, Jordan and the PLO each have their own reasons to be apprehensive as to the different approach that Trump might be contemplating.
The approach for the last 24 years has concentrated on implementing:
The 1993 Oslo Accords (Oslo) signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and
The 2003 Bush-Quartet Roadmap endorsed by America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations (Roadmap) - agreed to by Israel – albeit with 14 reservations – and the PLO
These two internationally-sanctioned agreements sought to create a second independent Arab state – in addition to Jordan – in the territory comprised in the 1922 Mandate for Palestine.
Sovereignty in 95% of the Mandate territory had already been vested in:
Jordan since 1946 (78%) and
Israel since 1948 (17%).
Sovereignty remained unallocated in just 5% of the Mandate territory – Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza (“the unallocated territories”).
Under Oslo - 40% of the unallocated territories containing 95% of the Arab population living there are currently under PLO or Hamas administration – whilst 5% are under Israel’s administration in the remaining 60%.
The Roadmap’s attempt to convert Oslo’s achievement into a “three-state” subdivision of the Mandate territory has failed.
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