- Title: In West Bank, Palestinians and Israeli settlers polarised on Trump peace plan
- Date: 24th January 2020
- Summary: BEITAR ILLIT, WEST BANK (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BULLDOZER AT CONSTRUCTION SITE IN SETTLEMENT, VIEW OF BEITAR ILLIT SETTLEMENT VARIOUS OF CONSTRUCTION IN SETTLEMENT RAMAT SHLOMO, WEST BANK (FILE) (REUTERS) BULLDOZERS IN CONSTRUCTION SITE IN SETTLEMENT VARIOUS OF VIEW OF CONSTRUCTION IN SETTLEMENT
- Embargoed: 7th February 2020 17:34
- Keywords: Israel Palestinians Peace plan Trump settlements
- Location: JORDAN VALLEY, ARIEL SETTLEMENT, BEITAR ILLIT, RAMAT SHLOMO, KIFL HARES, MARDA, WEST BANK
- City: JORDAN VALLEY, ARIEL SETTLEMENT, BEITAR ILLIT, RAMAT SHLOMO, KIFL HARES, MARDA, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Reuters ID: LVA002BXJ7FBB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's peace efforts on Friday (January 24), while some Israeli settlers said they were "optimistic" it would lead to Washington recognising Israel's sovereignty there.
Trump invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief rival centrist former general Benny Gantz to the White House next week, saying he would unveil a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace in the coming days.
Peace talks collapsed in 2014 and Palestinians have called Trump's proposal dead in the water, even before its publication, citing what they say as his pro-Israel policies.
Palestinians have been alarmed by pledges by Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians that they would annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war which Palestinians seek for a future state.
In the central West Bank village of Kfl Hares, which is overlooked by the settlement of Ariel, Palestinians slammed Trump's plan.
"That shows stupidity because the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership has announced many times that it won't be accepting and it will fully refuse the deal of the century," said Fathy Bwzyeh, resident of the village.
But in neighbouring Ariel, Israeli settlers voiced delight with Trump's peace efforts.
Reuven Fagan, a settler from Ariel, said he hopes Trump will "give recognition of the settlements in the West Bank," adding that he is "very optimistic".
Some Israelis were less encouraging, however. Shima Ganzen, also an Ariel resident, said she was worried about Trump's plan "because every new plan gets bad results for Israelis".
Palestinians and most of the international community see settlements as illegal under the 1949 Geneva Conventions that bar populating land captured in war.
Israel disputes this, citing historical, biblical and political connections to the land, as well as security needs.
(Production: Rami Amichai, Ashraf abu Shawish, Adel abu Nemeh, Rami Ayyub, Suheir Sheikh)
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