September 16, 2019

Trump Said He ‘Probably’ Will Wait Until After Israeli Elections to Roll Out Peace Plan

U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Akron-Canton airport in Canton, Ohio, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

(JTA) — President Donald Trump said he “probably” will wait until after Israel’s national elections next month to release his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

“I probably will wait, but we may put out pieces of it,” Trump told reporters on Sunday while aboard Air Force One, Reuters reported.

Israel’s national elections are scheduled for Sept. 17.

“That’s probably the toughest deal of all — peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians — because they’ve been decades of hate,” he also said. “And it’s tough to make a deal when there’s that much hate.”

Trump added, “I think I’ve helped it very much by saying, ‘Look, until there’s a deal, we’re not going to pay you anymore.’ And other people should have done that long before me.” Earlier this year Trump’s administration ended more than $60 million dollars in annual funds for the Palestinian security services. Previously it ended all U.S. funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

The economic component of the Trump administration’s peace plan was rolled out in June at an economic peace summit in Bahrain, which the Palestinians boycotted and to which no Israeli officials were invited.

The “Peace to Prosperity” plan calls for $50 billion in investment to transform the Palestinian economy and build democratic infrastructures, including making the Palestinian judiciary more independent and expanding Palestinian higher education.