Thank you for your reading and interest in the news Trump’s Middle East peace plan is a gift to Iran and now with details
Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The overarching US foe in the Middle East will be basking in political satisfaction after President Donald Trump unveiled a new peace plan leaving the heart of East Jerusalem under Israeli occupation.
Keeping the holy city out of a narrow path Mr Trump had offered to Palestinian statehood will boost the rallying cries of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militant groups in Gaza supported by Iran.
Although armament levels of these groups lag far behind Israeli firepower, they have communication channels with Tehran and missile capabilities they have used in three wars against Israel since 2008.
Even before Mr Trump made public the political component of the plan on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign minister Javad Zarif called the proposals “delusional” and “dead on arrival”.
Omar Shaban, a political researcher who heads Pal-Think for Strategic Studies, said the plan boosts Iran’s model of defiance as the way for the Palestinians to have a glimmer at obtaining their rights.
“The Palestinians looks at Iran and see that it has carved itself a room for manoeuvre against bigger powers,” Mr Shaban told The National from Gaza.
“But no Palestinian could accept the Trump plan, whether they are militant or not,” Mr Shaban said.
Hamas said Muslims needed to “fulfil their duty” toward Jerusalem by foiling the deal and agreed to be at a meeting called for by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to denounce the plan.
Speaking at the meeting, President Mahmoud Abbas called the plan “rubbish” and said it contained “nothing new”, justifying the rejection in advance by the Palestinians.
Mr Abbas said the US had sought what he described as Palestinian surrender when it recognised Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital in December 2017.
But past displays of unity between moderate and militant Palestinian factions had turned out to be unsustainable.
Earlier this month, Iran treated Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as a main attendee at the funeral of Qassem Suleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force, who was killed in a US drone strike on January 3.
Iran has been using every move it considers as Israeli or US intransigence to portray itself as only powerful defender of aggrieved Palestinians.
Its most lethal external division, the Quds Force, is named after the holy city. The unit was established in 1980 as Iran sought to undermine Saddam Hussein’s regional appeal.
Saddam established his own Al Quds Army in 2001. But the two formations stayed away from any direct confrontation with Israel.
With the Hamas leader in attendance, Mr Khamenei prayed in Arabic in front of Suleimani’s coffin, calling him an Islamic martyr.
Mr Shaban said aside from its ties with the Gaza militants, Iran had made negligible investment in the strip, such as building basic services or infrastructure.
“Iran’s physical presence is not that much felt, and this limits its influence on the street,” Mr Shaban said.
The political framework of Mr Trump’s plan calls for Jerusalem to remain the sovereign capital of the State of Israel, and it should remain an "undivided" city.
Any capital of a future Palestinian state would be east and north of the West Bank wall, which Israel says is needed to preserve its security, clearly excluding occupied territory inside the walls of the old city.
The plan says the Palestinian capital “could be named Al Quds or another name as determined by the State of Palestine.”
However, every Palestinian knows what Al Quds is. So does Iran, after decades of placing the city at the centre of its drive to spread its version of Islamic liberation.
Updated: January 29, 2020 12:28 AM
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