World, Middle East

Palestine says ‘Deal of the century’ thwarted

"Deal of the century" is backchannel plan to reach peace settlement between Israel and Palestinians

Palestine says ‘Deal of the century’ thwarted

RAMALLAH, Palestine

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said Saturday the so-called “Deal of the Century” -- a backchannel plan to reach a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians – has been thwarted.

“Thanks to the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the leadership’s commitment to the national constants, the US-led ‘deal of the century’ has been thwarted,” PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement cited by the official Wafa news agency.

“If the deal had succeeded, it would have become a regional deal affecting all the peoples and countries of this region,” he said. The spokesman, however, said the Middle East region is currently at a crossroads.

“They (region’s countries) have to stick together for the national interest to prevent the transformation of the deal of the century, which has slowed down but is not yet over, into a regional deal whose consequences cannot be predicted,” he said.

According to Palestinians, the U.S. administration seeks to impose a political solution that calls for the establishment of a state in the Gaza Strip and a limited autonomy in the West Bank, with Israel retaining control over the city of Jerusalem.

The PA has rejected U.S. mediation since last December, when Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

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