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Israeli ministers reject US peace plan for Palestinian state

Israeli ministers reject US peace plan for Palestinian state

 
- US, Arab countries reportedly finalizing plan that includes firm timeline for establishment of Palestinian state
 

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – Two Israeli ministers on Thursday voiced opposition to a reported US peace plan for the creation of a Palestinian state.

According to the Washington Post newspaper, the US and a number of Arab countries are finalizing a long-term peace plan between Israel and Palestinians.

The plan includes ''a firm timeline for the establishment of a Palestinian state, that could be announced as early as the next several weeks,'' it said.

''We will never agree, under any circumstances to this plan that basically says the Palestinians deserve a prize for the terrible massacre they carried out against us: A Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem,'' Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich wrote on X.

''A Palestinian state is an existential threat to the State of Israel as was proved on Oct. 7,'' he added.

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir also opposed the reported peace plan.

"1400 people were killed, and the world wants to grant them (Palestinians) a state. It will not happen!'' he said on X.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided” capital in a move never recognized by the international community.

The Palestinians, for their part, hope to establish an independent state of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 Hamas attack, killing at least 28,576 and causing mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in an interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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