U.S., Arab Nations Plan for Postwar Gaza, Palestinian State

(Washington Post) Karen DeYoung - The Biden administration and a group of Arab partners are rushing to complete a detailed, comprehensive plan for long-term peace between Israel and Palestinians, including a firm timeline for the establishment of a Palestinian state, that could be announced in the coming weeks. The planning participants include Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Palestinian representatives, in addition to the U.S. The elephant in the planning room is Israel, and whether its government will acquiesce to much of what is being discussed: the withdrawal of many, if not all, Israeli communities in the West Bank; a Palestinian capital in eastern Jerusalem; the reconstruction of Gaza; and security and governance arrangements for a combined West Bank and Gaza. The hope is that Israel would also be offered specific security guarantees and normalization with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. U.S. officials said the menu of actions under consideration include early U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state - even as elements of political reform, security guarantees for both Israel and the Palestinians, normalization and reconstruction are being implemented. "I'd be stunned if they extended de jure or de facto recognition to the state of Palestine" as an early part of a day-after plan, said Aaron David Miller, a former State Department adviser and coordinator on Arab-Israeli negotiations. He questioned whether the current leadership of either Israel or the Palestinians was capable of or interested in "any transformative solution." "They don't have the leaders in place to pull the wagon." Americans "think they can come here and play with us like building Lego," said Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, a member of the Central Committee of Fatah, the largest faction in the PLO, which forms the basis of the Palestinian Authority. "If we want to renew our leadership, that's purely our decision." One Arab official said Hamas should be included in the talks, if not in the future government, "to ensure they're on board with this."

2024-02-15 00:00:00

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