Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday reiterated his support for Trump’s plan, telling Fox television: “We will not contradict in any way the outline that the president put forward.”
He added that the Palestinians must prove themselves before statehood. “Getting Hamas out of Gaza isn’t going to be easy,” he added. “Assuming we have a peace agreement, then the two parts of where the Palestinians will be connected. We have a way to get there, but the Palestinians should take the first step.”
He said that “there are compromises on both sides but I’m ready to make those compromises. I’m ready to move forward on the president’s deal to achieve peace and the Palestinians … I think over time they’ll see they’ll never get a better deal,” he said.
The plan drew outrage among Palestinians but was praised by Netanyahu himself, who compared Trump’s plan to President Harry Truman’s courageous decision to recognize Israel in 1948.
Netanyahu plans to put parts of the plan up for a vote as early as next week with the goal of extending Israeli sovereignty on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in the coming weeks.
Trump’s plan envisages a two-state solution with Israel and a future Palestinian state living alongside each other. He proposed a four-year schedule for the creation of a Palestinian state that would be demilitarized and get tens of billions of dollars in investment.
Jerusalem would be the undivided capital of Israel, it said.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett called on Israel to establish sovereignty immediately over the parts envisioned for Israel.
“Last night history knocked on the door of our home and gave us a one-time opportunity to apply Israeli law on all settlements in Samaria, Judea, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea,” Bennett said.
He had ordered a team to be set up to apply Israeli law and sovereignty on all Jewish settlements.
But Amir Peretz, head of Israel’s left-wing Labor Party, said no unilateral plan could work. “Now more than ever it’s clear that we need a diplomatic compass,” he said.