Former President Carter blasts Trump’s Mideast peace plan

Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement Thursday rejecting President Donald Trump’s newly proposed Middle East peace plan.

Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement Thursday rejecting President Donald Trump’s newly proposed Middle East peace plan, which calls for the Israeli annexation of key swaths of Palestinian-held land.

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The statement issued Thursday by the Carter Center in Atlanta describes Trump’s offer as "fragmented statehood” which leaves Palestinians “without control of their borders ... and undercuts prospects for a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Trump unveiled the long-awaited plan Tuesday in Washington alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump’s plan sides with Israel on key contentious issues that have derailed peace efforts in the past, including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements, according to reporting by The Associated Press.

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The plan attaches nearly impossible conditions for granting the Palestinians their hoped-for state, such as allowing the Palestinians to establish a capital on the outskirts of east Jerusalem but leaving most of the city under Israeli control, the AP reported.

“If implemented, the plan will doom the only viable solution to this long-running conflict, the two-state solution,” Carter said in the statement.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also dismissed the plan as “nonsense” and vowed to resist it, the AP reported.

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“We will not kneel, and we will not surrender,” Abbas said, according to the AP.

The announcement of the plan sparked widespread protests in the West Bank.

Palestinians protest the Mideast plan announced by President Donald Trump.

Credit: Mahmoud Illean

Credit: Mahmoud Illean

The Palestinians favor a two-state solution based on borders that were in place before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The United Nations has already issued several resolutions declaring all Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal, contrary to Trump's solution.

Trump’s plan “violates the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, which is codified in a long line of United Nations Security Council resolutions from 242 (1967) to 2334 (2016),” Carter said.

“Further, the proposal breaches international law regarding self-determination, the acquisition of land by force, and annexation of occupied territories,” according to Carter's statement. “By calling Israel ‘the nation state of the Jewish people,’  the plan also encourages the denial of equal rights to the Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

Carter ends the statement by urging the UN “to adhere to UN Security Council resolutions and to reject any unilateral Israeli implementation of the proposal by grabbing more Palestinian land.”

The Palestinians see the West Bank as the heartland of a future independent state and east Jerusalem as their capital. Most of the international community supports their position, but Trump has reversed decades of U.S. foreign policy by siding more with Israel.

— Reporting by The Associated Press was used to supplement this report.

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