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President Trump unveils Middle East peace plan, complete with tunnel — Palestinian leader responds with 'a thousand no's'


Democrats criticize the 'deal of the century'

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump rolled out his proposal for a Middle East peace plan on Tuesday, which would create a pathway to Palestinian statehood and a tunnel between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"My vision presents a 'win-win' opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel's security," President Donald Trump said at a White House event alongside Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump added that "Under this vision, Jerusalem will remain Israel's undivided — very important — undivided capital" and "the proposed transition to a two-state solution will present no incremental security risk to the State of Israel whatsoever."

Trump later tweeted out an image of the proposed future two-state solution, which shows a tunnel connecting the non-contiguous West Bank and Gaza strip areas.

Netanyahu said that Trump had "charted a brilliant future — a brilliant future for Israelis, Palestinians, and the region — by presenting a realistic path to a durable peace."

The Israeli leader also called the plan Trump's "deal of the century."

For its concession, Israel has agreed to freeze settlement construction for four years. The proposed Palestinian capital would be in "areas of East Jerusalem," according to a White House briefing sheet. The White House also states that the proposed map would "more than double the size of the land currently used by the Palestinians."

The full proposal itself is quite detailed, making up a 181-page PDF titled, "Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People." Trump said Tuesday that his plan was "the most detailed proposal ever put forward by far."

Congressional Republicans lauded the plan, noting its protections for Israel's sovereignty and security in the proposed transition process.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) called it "a positive development that President Donald Trump's administration continues to work with Israel — including Prime Minister Netanyahu and his primary political opposition, Benny Gantz, to ensure its full recognition and sovereignty as the baseline for any Middle East peace plan."

"I applaud the president for putting forth a plan that secures a prosperous future for the Jewish State of Israel while working toward a lasting peace between Israelis, Palestinians, and the broader Arab world," reads a statement from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)

And, as to be expected, congressional Democrats were quick to criticize the president's proposal.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said that the plan "goes against decades of bipartisan US foreign policy and international law."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash) said that it was "the latest in a series of Trump actions that have set back prospects for peace between Palestinians & Israelis."

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) called it a "political stunt" and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said it was "not a peace plan but "theft" and "erasure."

But regardless of whatever merits and faults the extensive proposal may have, there's still the question of whether or not the Palestinians would buy in and negotiation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas answered that question Tuesday with "a thousand no's," according to the Associated Press.

"After the nonsense that we heard today we say a thousand no's to the 'Deal of The Century,'" Abbas said at a news conference in Ramallah, playing off of Netanyahu's earlier remarks. "We will not kneel and we will not surrender."

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