A Stateless state? Palestine… to where?

Deal of the Century from a Palestinian Perspective

Noor Almaslamani, Contributing Writer

Trump’s administration announced on January 28th, the details of the so-called “Deal of the Century.” The most important details of the deal of the century are the following:

  1. If the Palestinians agree, the U.S. will grant them 50 billion dollars to assist in uplifting the economy
  2. Israel will be in control of security from the river to the sea, including the West Bank
  3. No refugees will enter Israel, and a limited number will be allowed into the West Bank.
  4. The illegal settlements in the Jordanian valley will be part of Israel.
  5. The Palestinian communities living in Israel will be moved to an area north of the West Bank that will be part of the state of Palestine after four years from 2020.
  6. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and Palestinians are allowed in for religious purposes.

What does this ‘peace plan’ mean for the Palestinians and why are they rejecting the plan? It means that the shimmering faith they had in the 1993 Oslo records has now ceased. It also means that it legitimated the role of the U.S. acting as a mediator and a third party in this conflict. Regarding the reasons the Palestinians are rejecting this plan than here are a few:

  • The Palestinians are not products to be sold and bought by 50 billion dollars. In fact, the Palestinians will get only 27.8 billion dollars, the rest will be given to the neighboring states.
  • The entire plan did not mention the word “occupation.” Israel was established in 1948 on land that has been called Palestine for centuries.
  • The plan fails to address any solutions for the refugees. Palestinian refugees do not only live abroad. Some refugees live in Gaza and the West Bank, and there was no mention of them.
  • Jerusalem is an important city for the Palestinians, and it has always been the capital. It is also still unclear what will happen to the 300,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem.

Is this plan a shock to the Palestinians? No. Palestinians have been trying to implement a peace plan with the Israelis for so long now. Israel did not abide by the 1947 UN plan, nor did it comply with the 1993 Oslo Accords with the mediation of the United States. The Accords divided the West Bank into three areas: A, B, and C. Area A is under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority also controls the economy, health, and education in area B; however, Israeli authorities retain the right to control external security in area B. Meaning, at any time during the day or night, the Israeli military has the right to detain individuals or raid homes for the reason of security. Area C, which is the biggest area of the West Bank, is under full Israeli regulation. It is home for more than 600,000 Israeli settlers living in illegal Jewish settlements. Unsurprisingly, the Israelis did not, and currently do not comply with any of the resolutions put forth by the international community nor by the bipartisan resolutions they signed. Adding the settlements and area C together, the Israeli government has more than 90% of the Palestinian land. The following picture shows the settlement progress.

In a nutshell, if the Palestinians agree on the annexation of the Jordanian valley, Palestine will only consist of areas A and B, with no capital.

Lastly, why should this event be important internationally not only locally or regionally? Because we see the ultimate reference now is not the international community nor the role of the United Nations, but for the powerful hegemon, the United States. This is a crucial vivid shift because it is no longer about the people, it is about a few people in the current political system.