Netanyahu Trump
© Reuters / Kevin Lamarque
US President Donald Trump has said that the White House will unveil its long-awaited and long-delayed Middle East peace plan on Tuesday. Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu is already in DC, but no Palestinian envoy is present.

Trump made the remark as he received Netanyahu, who is in Washington for the release of the plan dubbed the "deal of the century."

Trump said the plan "makes a lot of sense" for everybody and is "good for" Palestinians — but reports suggest that the plan is unlikely to offer the prospect of statehood to Palestine. Adding to the sense that the deal will offer more to Israel, is the fact that no Palestinian representative from Gaza or the West Bank was invited to the unveiling.

The deal has even reportedly been rejected by the head of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Mahmoud Abbas, who according to AFP turned down an offer from Trump to discuss the plan.

Comment: More on the Palestinian National Authority's response to the 'deal'.
The head of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Mahmoud Abbas, has turned down an offer from US President Donald Trump to discuss his "deal of the century" peace plan, AFP reported, citing anonymous Palestinian officials. The sources say that the Trump administration has made several attempts to reach Abbas in recent months, including via third-parties, but to no avail.

According to one of the news agency's sources, the PNA leader is not planning to discuss any plan until a two state-solution envisaging the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel is recognised by the US. This goes in line with earlier PNA fears that Trump's deal seeks to bury its dreams of establishing a Palestinian state.

Palestinian leaders have claimed that they have not been invited to Washington for any discussions of the peace plan, according to Reuters.

[...] Trump is also planning to discuss the deal with the Israeli prime minister's main political rival, head of the Blue and White Alliance Benny Gantz, on 27 January.

The imminent publication of the plan has not been well received by the PNA. One of its lawmakers and former chief negotiator during the 1990s, Saeb Erekat, warned on 26 January that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) could withdraw from the Oslo Accords, which saw the organisation denounce the use of violence against Israel and recognise its right to exist.

Deal of the Century About to Be Released

The release of Trump's peace plan, dubbed the "deal of the century", has been postponed on several occasions, with the president's adviser, Kushner, revealing only the economic portion of it in June 2019. According to it, the US suggests investing $50 billion in the Palestinian territories and neighbouring Arab states to resurrect the local economy and build a transport line between the Gaza Strip and the PNA-controlled parts of the West Bank.

The political part of the deal remains unknown, including whether or not it involves the creation of a Palestinian state, something that the PNA requires from any peace deal. Some media reports have claimed that the draft deal includes the establishment of a Palestinian state, but without its own military and without its capital in Jerusalem.

The deal has already been denounced by two major negotiating parties, the PNA and Hamas, who stated that the US is not fit to be a mediator after it allegedly showed bias towards Israel with its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

Netanyahu on Saturday called Trump the "greatest friend" Israel has ever had and framed the deal as the "greatest opportunity" for the country. Meanwhile, Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, called Trump's peace plan "delusional" and "dead on arrival" in a tweet on Monday.

Comment: Zarif isn't far off!! How can you have a deal without both parties involved?! Zarif went on to add:
Trump said he will unveil his "deal of the century" for Israel and Palestine - actually prepared by his aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner - on Tuesday, but Zarif has already taken to Twitter to condemn it. He suggested that Washington should abandon its "delusional" plan and instead support a solution offered by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Unlike the US plan, the details of which remain a mystery, the proposal put forward by Khamenei amounts to holding a referendum on a system of government including "Muslim, Christian and Jewish residents of Palestine as well as Palestinian refugees." The Iranian leader also repeatedly slammed the US' "deal of the century" by calling it "traitorous" and designed to "destroy" Palestine's identity, as he apparently suspects the plan will greatly favor Israel.

Trump has held an avidly pro-Israel stance since taking office, and solidified his friendship with Netanyahu by moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as recognizing Israel's "sovereignty" over Syria's Golan Heights, illegal under international law.