Elements of U.S. Peace Plan Revealed
08 September 2009
An elected Palestinian official unveiled today details of a U.S. peace plan for a "permanent peaceful solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict." It was recently drafted by U.S. President Barack Obama, who intends to officially declare it soon, according to Hassan Khraisha, deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament.
Xinhua reported that according to Khraisha, the plan includes:
* Statehood: the establishment of Palestinian statehood first in the West Bank by 2011. Later, the Gaza Strip will be integrated.
* Normalization: Full recognition of and relations with by the Arab states.
* No Authority Over East Jerusalem: "The plan puts parts of East Jerusalem under the full Israeli sovereignty without any actual Palestinian control on it. But the holy sites will be under Arab and Islamic administration," said Khraisha.
* Security: Intensifying the Israeli-Palestinian security coordination in the West Bank.
* Palestinian Foreign Policy: It prevents the Palestinian state from making any foreign military alliances in the region, according to Khraisha.
* Limited Refugee Resettlement: Resettling "a limited number of Palestinian refugees in the Jordan valley and other areas in the West Bank" between Nablus and Ramallah, Khraisha said.
* Refugee Financial Assistance: "An international fund association to help the Palestinian refugees" would be set up.
* Not Clear on Refugees in Arab World: The "plan did not show what would be the fate of the Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other Arab and foreign countries."
* Settlements: the plan talks about keeping big settlements in the West Bank, and to start negotiations on smaller settlements within three months.
* Demilitarization: The Palestinian state would be demilitarized.
* Airspace: Israel exercises control of the airspace above the Palestinian state.
* Factions as Parties: "The new U.S. plan calls for turning the different armed Palestinian factions into political parties which condemn the use of violence against Israel," said Khraisha.
* Palestinian prisoners: The plan includes an Israeli release of a number of prisoners from its jails as soon as a permanent peace agreement is signed between Israel and the PNA. The prisoners' release would take three years.
Khraisha, who declined to say from where he got the draft, said that the U.S. administration had finalized the plan with the assistance of some Jewish figures specialized in the Israeli-Palestinian affairs.
Khraisha opposes the U.S. plan, saying "it means to dwarf the Palestinian political project and smashes the legitimate rights of the Palestinians in two basic issues, Jerusalem and the refugees return."
"The plans and declarations of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to start building up the establishments and the institutions of the future Palestinian statehood might be made in accordance with the U.S. peace plan," said Khraisha.
He said that the PNA "might deal with the plan, which is very dangerous and it comes in a status of Palestinian weakness due to the current political rift between Hamas and Fatah."
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