U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to postpone the long-awaited unveiling of his Middle East peace plan at least until February, the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds reported Wednesday, citing the recent political crisis in Israel as the reason.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “prefers no announcement of the plan whatsoever, especially now, amid the recent developments in the region and the political crisis in Israel,” an unnamed source told the newspaper, adding that Trump’s advisers have recommended he postpone unveiling the plan.
The political crisis, which followed a flare-up in violence along the Israel-Gaza border, was sparked by the surprise resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman over the subsequent truce agreement between Israel and Hamas. His resignation nearly forced an early election, which was narrowly avoided at the last minute. The Israeli government is now operating with a precarious coalition of 61 MKs and could still potentially collapse.
The east Jerusalem-based newspaper reported that it was the Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, who recommended that Trump shelve the plan for the time being, given the political pressures Netanyahu’s government now faces.
Dermer is one of the officials privy to all the details of the plan, which Trump has dubbed the “deal of the century,” the report said. As such, he has been working closely with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, as well as with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Trump has previously stated that he would support any plan that would resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in September he came out in support of the two-state solution.