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The prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan by Donald Trump is vanishing

Palestinians took up 15 minutes of Monday's two-hour Trump-Netanyahu meeting

    Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and their wives at the White House on Monday
    Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and their wives at the White House on Monday (Photo: Getty Images)

    Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump held their fifth meeting in just over a year on Monday and appeared to confirm that any prospect of a peace plan coming from this administration is vanishing.

    Speaking at the beginning of the meeting at the White House, the president himself did not sound very hopeful.

    “The Palestinians, I think, are wanting to come back to the table very badly,” Mr Trump said, but then added: “If they don’t, you don’t have peace, and that’s a possibility also. I’m not saying it’s going to happen.

    “Everybody said this is the hardest deal to make of any deal.”

    In a briefing he held later in the day with the Israeli traveling press, Mr Netanyahu said the meeting focused on “Iran, Iran, Iran” and that in nearly two hours they spent together, the Palestinian issue took up barely fifteen minutes.

    The Trump administration has made much in the past of intentions to present a comprehensive peace plan.

    The president’s son-in-law and special advisor Jared Kushner was appointed to oversee the efforts, along with his special representative and long-serving attorney Jason Greenblatt.

    But despite working at it for over a year now, the president didn’t present Mr Netanyahu with even timetable for the plan’s presentation, let alone some draft details. 

    Nikki Haley, the US US Ambassador to the United Nations, did mention the plan two weeks ago in a lecture by saying that it “won’t be loved and won’t be hated” by either side.

    But she did not return to it in her speech at the AIPAC conference in Washington on Monday, even though she talked up her strong stand against the Palestinians at the UN.

    Senior Israeli diplomats say they are beginning to lose any faith in ever seeing an actual plan.

    The most substantive details in recent months have been in the Arab media, but these are most likely based on assumptions of the Palestinians.

    The Palestinian Authority has refused to engage with the administration since Mr Trump announced last December that the US now recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and tplans to move the US embassy there.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared the US can no longer be “an honest broker” in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

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