TEL AVIV – President Donald Trump’s long awaited peace proposal will include the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis as the future capital of a Palestinian state, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid said Monday.
“Over the weekend, different sources began saying that in the American paper that will be presented next month, Abu Dis will be mentioned as the capital of Palestine,” Lapid said at a Yesh Atid faction meeting.
A National Security Council official, however, dismissed Lapid’s comments. “Anyone who claims to know the terms of the Trump administration’s peace proposal is mistaken,” the official told the Jerusalem Post. “We will not provide details or comment further on specific terms until we make the proposal public.”
Lapid said that the plan must have been formulated in agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“This brings up two questions,” Lapid said. “One, is the two-state solution back on the table with the prime minister’s agreement? Two, is Abu Dis acceptable to Netanyahu as the future Palestinian capital?”
“I know that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t give interviews, but there’s a limit to his vagueness. If it’s true, the Israeli public needs to know,” Lapid added.
In January, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was briefed on an alleged 92-page document that outlined the peace proposal and included the West Bank town of Abu Dis as a capital.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat urged Abbas to reject the plan outright, Israeli media reported at the time.
The document purportedly outlined an independent but demilitarized Palestinian state in which Israel would be in charge of overseeing the West Bank from a security perspective and keep 10 percent of West Bank territory. The final borders of a Palestinian state would be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, the report claimed.
The alleged plan would give the Palestinians limited control over areas of Ben Gurion Airport and Israeli sea ports of Ashdod and Haifa, but Israel would maintain security control.
“We have no reason to wait for an American plan that in practice will keep the status quo in place and give American legitimacy to settlements while establishing an eternal autonomy” rather than a fully independent state, the report quoted Erekat telling Abbas in his briefing.
The reported deal also outlined a “just solution” for Palestinian “refugees”, but there would be no “right of return” for “refugees” to settle in Israel.
The White House at the time said the rumors were baseless.
However, a week later Abbas, in apparent reaction to Erekat’s briefing, said that the Trump administration’s deal was “a slap in the face” for the Palestinians and cursed out the U.S. chief executive by wishing “ruin upon his house.”
“We told Trump we will not accept his project, the ‘deal of the century,’ which has become the ‘slap of the century,’” said Abbas. “But we will slap back.”
Abbas slung a popular Arabic curse at Trump in response to the American president’s threat to cut U.S. aid to the Palestinians if they “spread lies about the U.S.”
“May your house come to ruin,” Abbas said, espousing an Arabic epithet.