The Israeli military is reinforcing parts of the West Bank with extra infantry as Donald Trump prepares to reveal his long-awaited peace plan for the region.
Palestinians are protesting in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ahead of the US president’s announcement, which is expected to strongly favour Israel.
Demonstrators in Gaza City burned pictures of Mr Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and raised a banner reading “Palestine is not for sale”.
Image: Thousands of Palestinians are protesting in Gaza City
Image: A Palestinian demonstrator burns a picture depicting Donald Trump in Gaza City
In a statement, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) said it had decided to reinforce the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank with infantry troops following an “ongoing situation assessment”.
The Jordan Valley constitutes a strip of land in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and is home to both Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
The status of the Jordan Valley is likely to form one central part of Mr Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”, a peace proposal for the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The details of the plan will be released on Tuesday night at a White House meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Netanyahu, who was formally indicted in court earlier on corruption charges.
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Image: Israeli soldiers on patrol in Hebron in the West Bank
The plan is the consequence of three years of work by a small White House team led by Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Palestinian academics and analysts have been consulted through the process but no Palestinian Authority officials are in Washington for the unveiling.
Image: Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner led the US team behind the peace plan
Leaks from the American plan to the Israeli media have suggested that it will be heavily weighted towards Israel.
In the leaks, it is suggested that the plan will propose that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank would become sovereign Israeli territory.
Israeli sovereignty would also be given to the whole of Jerusalem with the city being officially recognised as the Israeli capital.
Palestinians would be granted statehood but only on condition that they recognise Jerusalem as being the capital of the Jewish State of Israel and subject to Gaza being demilitarised with Hamas giving up its weapons.
Image: A Palestinian woman stands next to a protest sign in Hebron in occupied West Bank
The Palestinian leadership has rejected the plan outright.
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), said: “President Trump is trying to make peace between Netanyahu and [opposition leader Benny] Gantz, in order for the three of them to dictate an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people.
“They know what is the best for the Palestinian people more than the Palestinians. This is the hoax and fraud of the century.”
Bethlehem’s struggle for peace
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for a meeting of Palestinian officials at his headquarters in Ramallah for 7pm.
The Palestinian Authority have refused to talk to the Americans since the Trump administration moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, giving legitimacy to the Israeli claim that Jerusalem is the capital of their Jewish state.
In a highly unusual move, leaders of the Hamas movement, who govern Gaza, have also been invited to the Ramallah meeting.
Hamas and Fatah, who govern the West Bank, are themselves bitterly divided.
Source : Sky News