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Wed Dec 18, 2019, 08:59 PM

Congress nixes Trump's $175m peace plan fund, gives $150m aid to Palestinians


"A White House request to include $175 million in funding that would help pay for Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts was left off a final 2020 Appropriations Bill set to pass Tuesday.

The Trump administration’s request to Congress earlier this year had included a so-called Diplomatic Progress Fund to respond to diplomatic breakthroughs, while slashing aid to the Palestinians to zero.

Instead, the $1.4 trillion government spending package includes $150 million for Palestinian security and humanitarian aid, while leaving off the diplomatic fund. It also includes $3.3 billion in aid to Israel as part of the Memorandum of Understanding.

A source familiar with budget negotiations told the Haaretz newspaper that the rejection was down to budgetary, not political reasons, because Congress doesn’t believe the peace plan will be launched any time in the near future."


Latest leak of Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ annexes settlements to Israel, establishes ‘New Palestine’


"Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV published details on Monday from a reportedly leaked draft of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, or deal of the century, marking a second time this year unconfirmed documents have revealed plans to establish a demilitarized state of “New Palestine” alongside Israel.

The draft allegedly contains a series of clauses describing a trilateral agreement between Israel, the PLO and Hamas, which would constitute a departure from the U.S.’s longstanding position of refusing to negotiate directly with Hamas, the Islamic group governing the Gaza Strip.

According to the report, the state of New Palestine will exist in the West Bank and Gaza, connected via a raised highway constructed 30 meters off the ground. All Israeli settlement blocs would be annexed to Israel, signaling consistency with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement last month that “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”

The document notes, “The Jordan Valley,” which constitutes 30 percent of the West Bank, “will remain in Israeli hands, as it is today.” Israeli settlements and closed military zones account for 85 percent of the Jordan Valley."


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