Israeli-occupied Palestinian
Israeli-occupied Palestinian

by Saud Abu Ramadan

After U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled this week his long-awaited Middle East peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, known as the Deal of the Century, a Palestinian analyst suggested three possible scenarios of how the Palestinian leadership will respond to the U.S. plan in the future.

“Although the Palestinian leadership has slammed the U.S. plan and completely rejected it, their choices on how to deal with it in the future are still so difficult,” Hani al-Masri, director of the Ramallah-based Masarat Center for Research and Studies, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The first scenario, in his point of view, is to ignore the U.S. plan with continued “political steps and positions against it.”

“In this case, there will be no dramatic changes such as withdrawing the recognition of the State of Israel, freezing security cooperation with Israel or dissolving the Palestinian Authority,” al-Masri said.

The Palestinian Authority has been based in areas of the West Bank since 2007 when President Mahmoud Abbas’ security forces were routed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It is the interim self-governing body established in 1994 to govern the Gaza Strip and Areas A and B of the West Bank according to the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, a follow-up treaty to the 1993 Oslo Accord.

The second scenario is to prompt an open confrontation with Israel through a change of the current Palestinian policy, said the Palestinian analyst.

In the third scenario, Palestine may accept the U.S. plan when all other Arab states support the plan, forcing the Palestinian leadership to surrender to the Israeli-U.S. pressure, he told Xinhua.

It is worth noting that Trump announced his plan in Washington at the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yet with the absence of the Palestinian side.

“The U.S. plan doesn’t meet the Palestinian people’s aspirations,” al-Masri said, adding the Palestinian leadership is clearly aware of the Trump administration’s bias in favor of Israel.

President Abbas, who is in Cairo to attend an emergency meeting of the Arab League, revealed that the Palestinian Authority had informed the Israel and the United States of its readiness to “cut all relations” over the U.S. deal.

“We told the Israelis that we will not have any relations with them or with the United States, including security relations,” Abbas said at the meeting.

On Tuesday, Abbas announced that he would change the functional role of the Palestinian Authority in response to Trump’s plan, without giving more information about the concrete steps.

One of the options for Abbas is to reconcile himself with his rival Hamas which has been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007, said al-Masri.

However, this option is still weak and won’t change the minds of Trump and Netanyahu or exert any pressure on them, he added. Enditem

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