Jerusalem: Israel is reportedly concerned that the Trump administration is considering recognizing Jerusalem as the Palestinian as well as the Israeli capital in a bid to bring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table.
A senior Israeli official said “Trump wants a deal and he’s very serious,”. “To the Americans, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is relatively easy to solve", reports the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.
Sources told the newspaper that US-led talks between the two sides will work on a strategy of give and take: Anyone who comes to the table has to ante up a concession, one the other side agrees to. Anyone who doesn’t come to the table has to pay a penalty, and anyone who rejects the draft deal risks being put in a weaker position for the next round.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to ask the Americans to hold off on an announcement about the plan until after Israel goes to the polls in 2019, as any clause regarding the possibility of Jerusalem also being a Palestinian capital could cause him problems in his coalition as well as opening him up to attack from the right, reports the newspaper.
Israel's Science Minister Ofir Akunis, in response to the report, said " “Jerusalem will never be a joint capital, and a Palestinian terror state will not be established in the West Bank, under any circumstances,” Akunis. “If the Palestinians want to return to the negotiating table, it will be done without preconditions and clauses.”
Analysts and journalists in Israel have already pointed out that if the Trump plan included such a declaration, Netanyahu would face a problem in accusing the Trump administration of an anti-Israel stance after repeatedly praising him for transferring the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.(UNI)