Trump and Netanyahu announce the peace plan at the White House Tuesday. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Palestinian masses nationwide and overseas have been deeply angered by the US President Donald Trump’s newly-revealed peace plan, dubbed “the deal of the century”, which they said aims at dealing a heavy blow to the refugees’ internationally-recognized right of return to their homeland—Palestine.
According to UN General Assembly Resolution 194 adopted in 1948, Palestinian refugees are entitled to return to their homeland. However, Israel insists the refugees stay where they are as their return may greatly change regional demographics and create security concerns.
Under the US plan, "there shall be no right of return by, or absorption of, any Palestinian refugee into the State of Israel." Rather, the refugees would be absorbed into the State of Palestine or integrated into their current host countries.
Up to 5,000 Palestinians would be accepted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member countries who agree to participate in Palestinian refugee resettlements, said the plan, adding that a fund would be raised to provide some compensation to Palestinian refugees.
As figures in section 16 of the plan, “to be eligible for any refugee rights under the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement, individuals must be in Registered Refugee status by UNRWA, as of the date of release of this Vision.”
According to the plan, “UNRWA’s mandate, and its multi-generational definition of who constitutes a refugee, has exacerbated the refugee crisis. Under any circumstance, individuals who have already resettled in a permanent location (to be further defined in the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement) will not be eligible for resettlement, and will be eligible only for compensation.”
The plan envisions three options for Palestinian refugees seeking a permanent place of residence: Absorption into the State of Palestine; Local integration in current host countries (subject to those countries consent); or the acceptance of 5,000 refugees each year, for up to ten years (50,000 total refugees), in individual Organization of Islamic Cooperation member countries who agree to participate in Palestinian refugee resettlement (subject to those individual countries’ agreement).
The plan also seeks to dismantle Palestinian refugee camps across the Israeli-occupied territories and replacing them with new residential communities, a move that represents another threat to Palestinians’ refugee status and, thus, their right of return to their homeland.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday presented his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, calling for a two-state solution while recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital."
The White House released a statement, titled "Peace to prosperity: a vision to improve the lives of the Palestinian and Israeli people," after Trump finished his televised speech outlining his Middle East plan.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the “deal of the century” reinforces Israel’s position and its apartheid policies against the Palestinians.
“The plan is a Trump-drafted version of the Balfour Declaration and an old Israeli plan in a US mask”, the statement read. “This is a new conspiracy aiming to liquidate the Palestinian cause and negate Palestinians’ national and legitimate rights, most notably the right to self-determination, return to the homeland, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State along the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its eternal capital”.