UPDATE – Israeli daily publishes terms of 'Deal of Century'

                  *UPDATES WITH REMARKS BY ISLAMIC JIHAD CHIEF

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – An Israeli newspaper published a document Tuesday which was circulated between officials in Israel’s Foreign Ministry that details elements of the U.S. back-channel peace plan known as the "Deal of the Century".

No American, Israeli or Palestinian authorities have confirmed the leaked document published by Israel Hayom, which is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S. intends to publish its plan next month.

According to the Israeli daily, the plan includes the following main points:

1. Agreement

A tripartite agreement will be signed between Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas. A Palestinian state called "New Palestine" will be established in "Judea and Samaria" (the West Bank) and Gaza, with the exception of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

2. Evacuation of land

The settlement blocs in the West Bank will remain under Israeli control and will stretch to reach other isolated settlements.

3. Jerusalem

Jerusalem will not be divided or shared between Israel and New Palestine and will be the capital of both Israel and New Palestine. The Arab population in Jerusalem will be citizens of New Palestine.

The Israeli Jerusalem municipality will be responsible for all areas of the city except for education, which will be dealt with by the new Palestinian government. The new Palestinian Authority will pay taxes and water costs to the Jerusalem municipality.

Jews will not be allowed to buy Arab homes, Arabs will not be allowed to buy Jewish homes, no additional areas will be annexed to Jerusalem and the present status of the holy sites will continue.

4. Gaza

Egypt will lease new land to Palestine to construct an airport and factories and serve the commercial and agriculture sectors without allowing Palestinians to reside on this land. The borders of these lands and leasing price will be determined between the two parties through the mediation of the supporting countries.

5. Supporting States

The parties that will financially support the implementation of this agreement are the U.S., the European Union and the oil-producing Gulf states.

The supporting countries will provide a budget of $30 billion over five years for national projects in the new Palestine.

The budget will also include the cost of connecting Jewish settlements and large settlements to Israel.

The U.S. will pay 20% of the cost for such projects and the EU 10%, while oil-producing Gulf states will fund 70%, which will be determined by oil revenues of the countries.

Most of the financial support burden will fall on the oil-producing countries because they will be the main beneficiaries of this agreement.

6. The military

The new Palestine will not be allowed to create an army. The only weapons it will be allowed to possess will be light weapons for the police.

A protection treaty would be signed between Israel and New Palestine under which it will pay Israel to defend it from foreign aggression.

The cost of this payment must be determined in negotiations between the parties which would be mediated by the supporting states.

7. Timelines and stages of implementation

When signing the agreement:

  • Hamas will deposit all its weapons, including personal arms, with the Egyptian authorities.
  • Hamas members, including leaders, will continue to receive salaries from supporting countries until the government is formed.
  • The border of the Gaza Strip, including the maritime border, will be open to the movement of goods and workers to Israel and Egypt, as the current situation of the West Bank.
  • Within one year, democratic elections will be held and a government of New Palestine will be elected and every Palestinian citizen will be able to run for election.
  • One year after the elections and establishment of the government, Palestinians held in Israeli prisons will be released gradually over the course of three years.
  • Within five years, a seaport and airport will be established in New Palestine, and until then, Palestinians will use airports and seaports in Israel.
  • The border between New Palestine and Israel will be open to the movement of citizens and goods as is the case with friendly countries.
  • A highway connecting the West Bank and Gaza Strip will be established. China will pay 50% of its cost, while South Korea, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and the EU will each pay 10%.

8. The Jordan Valley

  • The Jordan Valley will remain under Israeli control.
  • Road 90 will become a four-lane road.
  • Israel will issue a tender to widen the road.
  • New Palestine will be given two new routes to Jordan with crossings under its control.

9. Responsibility

  • If Hamas and the PLO refuse to sign the ‘Deal of the Century’, the U.S. will cancel all financial support to the Palestinians and ensure that no country transfers funds to them.
  • If the PLO signed the deal but Hamas or Islamic Jihad refused, the leaders of these two movements will be considered responsible. In a new war between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the U.S. will back Israel in targeting these leaders.
  • If Israel refused to sign the deal, the U.S. would cease all financial support.
                  <p><br>

Meanwhile, secretary general of the Islamic Jihad resistance group, said he is expecting "an Israeli war on Gaza Strip in the summer".

Speaking to the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV, Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh said that such war would come as part of efforts to apply the so-called Deal of the Century.

"We as a resistance in Gaza are ready for any war," Al-Nakhaleh said.

He described the recent Israeli attacks on civilians in Hamas-run coastal enclave as an attempt to pressure the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.

The Israeli military pounded the coastal enclave over the weekend with airstrikes and artillery barrages while Gaza-based resistance factions responded by firing rockets towards southern Israel.

The violence ended at dawn on Monday, when a ceasefire — the exact terms of which remain unclear — went into effect.At least 27 Palestinians were killed in the exchange and scores more injured, while four Israelis were killed, according to Israeli media reports.

The escalation began last Friday when four Palestinians were killed by Israeli military strikes on Hamas-affiliated positions in Gaza.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

Israeli daily publishes terms of 'Deal of Century'

            By Abdelraouf Arnaout</p>  <p>JERUSALEM (AA) - An Israeli newspaper published a document Tuesday which was circulated between officials in Israel’s Foreign Ministry that details elements of the U.S. back-channel peace plan known as the &quot;Deal of the Century&quot;. </p>  <p>No American, Israeli or Palestinian authorities have confirmed the leaked document published by Israel Hayom, which is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.</p>  <p>The U.S. intends to publish its plan next month.</p>  <p>According to the Israeli daily, the plan includes the following main points:</p>  <p>1. Agreement</p>  <p>A tripartite agreement will be signed between Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas. A Palestinian state called &quot;New Palestine&quot; will be established in Judea, Samaria (in the West Bank) and Gaza, with the exception of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.</p>  <p> 2. Evacuation of land </p>  <p>The settlement blocs in the West Bank will remain under Israeli control and will stretch to reach other isolated settlements.</p>  <p> 3. Jerusalem</p>  <p>Jerusalem will not be divided or shared between Israel and New Palestine and will be the capital of both Israel and New Palestine. The Arab population in Jerusalem will be citizens of New Palestine.</p>  <p>The Israeli Jerusalem municipality will be responsible for all areas of the city except for education, which will be dealt with by the new Palestinian government. The new Palestinian Authority will pay taxes and water costs to the Jerusalem municipality.</p>  <p>Jews will not be allowed to buy Arab homes, Arabs will not be allowed to buy Jewish homes, no additional areas will be annexed to Jerusalem and the present status of the holy sites will continue.</p>  <p>4. Gaza</p>  <p>Egypt will lease new land to Palestine to construct an airport and factories and serve the commercial and agriculture sectors without allowing Palestinians to reside on this land. The borders of these lands and leasing price will be determined between the two parties through the mediation of the supporting countries.</p>  <p> 5. Supporting States</p>  <p>The parties that will financially support the implementation of this agreement are the U.S., the European Union and the oil-producing Gulf states.</p>  <p>The supporting countries will provide a budget of $30 billion over five years for national projects in the new Palestine.

The budget will also include the cost of connecting Jewish settlements and large settlements to Israel.

The U.S. will pay 20% of the cost for such projects and the EU 10%, while oil-producing Gulf states will fund 70%, which will be determined by oil revenues of the countries.

Most of the financial support burden will fall on the oil-producing countries because they will be the main beneficiaries of this agreement.

6. The military

The new Palestine will not be allowed to create an army. The only weapons it will be allowed to possess will be light weapons for the police.

A protection treaty would be signed between Israel and New Palestine under which it will pay Israel to defend it from foreign aggression.

The cost of this payment must be determined in negotiations between the parties which would be mediated by the supporting states.

7. Timelines and stages of implementation

When signing the agreement:

  • Hamas will deposit all its weapons, including personal arms, with the Egyptian authorities.
  • Hamas members, including leaders, will continue to receive salaries from supporting countries until the government is formed.
  • The border of the Gaza Strip, including the maritime border, will be open to the movement of goods and workers to Israel and Egypt, as the current situation of Judea and Samaria.
  • Within one year, democratic elections will be held and a government of New Palestine will be elected and every Palestinian citizen will be able to run for election.
  • One year after the elections and establishment of the government, Palestinians held in Israeli prisons will be released gradually over the course of three years.
  • Within five years, a seaport and airport will be established in New Palestine, and until then, Palestinians will use airports and seaports in Israel.
  • The border between New Palestine and Israel will be open to the movement of citizens and goods as is the case with friendly countries.
  • A highway connecting the West Bank and Gaza Strip will be established. China will pay 50% of its cost, while South Korea, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and the EU will each pay 10%.

9. The Jordan Valley

  • The Jordan Valley will remain under Israeli control.
  • Road 90 will become a four-lane road.
  • Israel will issue a tender to widen the road.
  • New Palestine will be given two new routes to Jordan with crossings under its control.

10. Responsibility

  • If Hamas and the PLO refuse to sign the ‘Deal of the Century’, the U.S. will cancel all financial support to the Palestinians and ensure that no country transfers funds to them.
  • If the PLO signed the deal but Hamas or Islamic Jihad refused, the leaders of these two movements will be considered responsible. In a new war between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the U.S. will back Israel in targeting these leaders.
  • If Israel refused to sign the deal, the U.S. would cease all financial support.
  • *Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

EU, Russia should counter US peace plan: Palestine

            By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The European Union (EU) and Russia should take action to save a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if the U.S. peace plan does not lead to two independent nations, Palestine’s ambassador to the UN said Tuesday.</p>  <p>Riyad Mansour said he told EU officials that support for a two-state solution is appreciated, but it is “not sufficient -- they have to act on it&quot;.</p>  <p>Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said Washington's Middle East peace plan, billed 'the Deal of the Century', would be revealed after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.</p>  <p>While Kushner provided no details as to what the plan entails, he said &quot;there will be tough compromises for both sides&quot; and that past efforts have not worked, referencing the two-state solution, a long-held framework for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.</p>  <p>Foreign ministers of the Arab League have rejected the U.S. plan, saying that without giving the legal rights of the Palestinians, these kinds of plans will never bring comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.</p>  <p>Mansour said if the U.S. plan does not end with two independent nations -- Palestine and Israel -- then the EU should take action against it to save the two-state framework.</p>  <p>The European Union could call for an international conference on the basis of the global consensus supporting a two-state solution “to see how we can open ways to move forward&quot;, Mansour told reporters at the UN. </p>  <p>He also said that European countries – particularly France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg -- could offer their support by recognizing the state of Palestine.</p>  <p>In the runup to Washington’s peace plan, U.S. President Donald Trump has moved to isolate Palestinians.</p>  <p>Last year, the U.S. cut all its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides critical aid to Palestinian refugees. It also unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and closed the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Washington office, which served as the de-facto Palestinian embassy in the U.S.</p>  <p>Mansour said Russia could also host an international conference in Moscow, since it is on the UN Security Council and Palestinians are already in talks with Moscow.</p>  <p> 

Turkish relief agency distributes iftar meals in Gaza

                            <p>By Hedaya al-Saeedi</p>    <p>GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) - A Turkish state-run aid agency has begun distributing iftar (breakfast) meals to poor Palestinian families in the blockaded Gaza Strip for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.</p>    <p>The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) said Monday -- the first day of Ramadan -- that it had already distributed iftar meals to 1,000 families in the village of Juhor al-Dik in the northern Gaza Strip.</p>    <p>TIKA plans to continue delivering food parcels to poor families across the coastal enclave throughout the fasting month of Ramadan.</p>    <p>Several Turkish government bodies, including TIKA and the Turkish Red Crescent, along with NGOs such as the IHH and Yardimeli, have been active in delivering aid and supporting development projects in the Gaza Strip.</p>    <p>*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat</p> 

Germany fails to condemn Israeli bombings in Gaza

   BERLIN (AA) - Germany has failed to condemn Israel’s excessive and disproportionate use of force against civilians over the weekend in the Gaza Strip. </p>  <p>Deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told a news conference on Monday that Israel had the right to &quot;self-defense&quot; and to respond appropriately to rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory. </p>  <p>Demmer expressed hope that a ceasefire which began early Monday morning will hold. </p>  <p>Since Saturday, 25 Palestinians, including two pregnant women and two infants, were martyred and more than 100 others wounded by Israeli air strikes, according to medical officials.</p>  <p>The Israeli army targeted some 320 sites across the blockaded enclave, including a building where Anadolu Agency's office was located. </p>  <p>The escalation in the Gaza Strip started on Friday, after four Palestinians were martyred in Israeli army attacks. Palestinian groups responded by launching more than 600 rockets and mortars towards Israeli settlements. </p>  <p>Four Israeli citizens were killed and four were wounded by the rockets, according to Israeli authorities. 

EU calls for end to Palestinian rocket attack on Israel

            By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - EU foreign policy chief on Sunday called for an immediate end to Palestine’s rocket attacks on Israel, and reiterated the Union’s support to Israel.</p>    <p>“Indiscriminate rocket attacks from Palestinian militants in Gaza must stop immediately. The European Union reiterates its fundamental commitment to the security of Israel,” Federica Mogherini said in a written statement.</p>    <p>“These attacks provoke unspeakable suffering to the Israelis and serve only the cause of endless violence and of an endless conflict,” Mogherini added.</p>    <p>The statement came after Israeli attacks since Saturday martyred at least 23 Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her infant child, and left more than 100 others wounded.</p>    <p>“A new escalation risks also to reverse the work to relieve the suffering of the people in Gaza who are already paying a high price with many victims that we mourn,” Mogherini said and added: “And it puts in further danger the prospects for long-term solutions, which will require the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, credible security guarantees for Israel and a lifting of restrictions of access and movement.</p>    <p>“The European Union reiterates its full support to the push of Egypt and the United Nations to reduce tensions in Gaza and expect the parties to work with them to restore calm,” Mogherini said, calling for international community “to bring relief to all those suffering from this conflict and cooperating with those who serve the cause of peace”.</p>      <p>The escalation in the Gaza Strip started when four Palestinians were martyred, including a teenager, and 51 wounded on Friday in Israeli army attacks on Hamas-affiliated sites and a separate attack on a rally against the decade-long occupation and siege of the Gaza Strip.</p>    <p>The Israeli assaults were met by Palestinian resistance factions launching 600 rockets towards Israeli settlements, killing three people, according to Israel.</p>    <p>More than 80 Israelis have received treatment since Saturday from Palestinian rocket attacks, including 62 for panic attacks, Israel's Megan David Adom emergency services said earlier Sunday.</p>    <p>Since Saturday, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have targeted at least 200 civilian sites including seven residential buildings.</p>    <p>On Saturday, a building where Anadolu Agency’s office in Gaza was located was razed by Israeli warplanes.</p>    <p>No deaths or injuries were reported in the attack.

Iran condemns Israel's attacks killing 18 Palestinians

            By Muhammet Kursun

TEHRAN (AA) – An Iranian official on Sunday condemned Israel's attacks that killed 18 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

“Because of America's unlimited support and the disgraceful silence of some Islamic countries, there is no end in sight to Israeli crimes in the occupied Palestinian lands,” the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Abbas Mousavi said in a written statement.

Mousavi reiterated Iran’s support to Palestine and called for international and regional communities to take urgent steps.

Since Saturday, at least 18 Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her infant child, were martyred and more than 100 others wounded by Israeli air strikes.

The escalation in the Gaza Strip started when four Palestinians were martyred, including a teenager, and 51 wounded on Friday in Israeli army attacks on Hamas-affiliated sites and a separate attack on a rally against the decade-long occupation and siege of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli assaults were met by Palestinian resistance factions launching 600 rockets towards Israeli settlements, killing three people, according to Israel.

More than 80 Israelis have received treatment since Saturday from Palestinian rocket attacks, including 62 for panic attacks, Israel's Megan David Adom emergency services said earlier Sunday.

Since Saturday, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have targeted at least 200 civilian sites including seven residential buildings.

On Saturday, a building where Anadolu Agency’s office in Gaza was located was razed by Israeli warplanes.

No deaths or injuries were reported in the attack.

  • Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

Palestinian factions vow retaliation to Israeli attacks

By Moustafa Haboosh

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinian factions in the blockaded Gaza Strip vowed early Sunday to carry out an unprecedented retaliation to Israeli attacks.

The factions "decided to respond to the occupation’s crimes in Gaza Strip in an unprecedented way," the Joint Chamber of Military Operations said in a statement.

"Given the insistence of the enemy to target civilians homes, the resistance decided to respond in an unprecedented manner to the crimes of the occupation," the chamber said without disclosing further details.

Israeli warplanes continued to raid several areas in the Gaza Strip after midnight.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli warplanes targeted two positions of Palestinian resistance factions in the northern part of the enclave, a plastic products factory in northern Gaza Strip, a naval police building in the Gaza seaport and two civilian houses in Khan Yunis city.

The raids completely destroyed the targeted two homes and severely damaged a number of houses surrounding the other targeted sites.

On Saturday, a building where Anadolu Agency’s office in Gaza is located was totally destroyed by Israeli warplanes.

No deaths or injuries were reported in the attack.

The strikes occurred following reports that two Israeli soldiers had been injured by gunfire near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on Friday.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

UPDATE – Israeli troops kill 4 Palestinians at Gaza border

            <p>REVISES HEADLINE, DECK AND LEDE, ADDS DETAILS </p>  <p>By Ayse Sumeyra Aydogdu and Hamdi Yildiz</p>  <p>GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Four Palestinians, including a teenager, were martyred Friday in the blockaded Gaza Strip during a rally against Israel’s decades-long occupation and an Israeli airstrike. </p>  <p>The Health Ministry in Gaza said in a written statement that two people, including 19-year-old Raid Abu Tair, were killed by Israeli gunfire in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis during the rally. </p>  <p>It said the others were martyred in an Israeli airstrike targeting the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing. </p>  <p>A total of 51 people were also injured in both incidents, the ministry said. </p>  <p>According to the Israeli army, two of its soldiers were injured at the Gaza border.</p>  <p>In response, the army said it destroyed a target belonging to the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.</p>  <p>Protesters in Gaza demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.</p>  <p>They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.</p>  <p>Palestinians have been protesting against Israel since March 2018 as part of the &quot;Great March of Return&quot;, during which Israeli troops have opened fire on civilian crowds with live bullets.</p>  <p>At least 200 Palestinians have been martyred since the beginning of the demonstrations.</p>   *Writing by Nilay Kar Onum and Can Erozden

Israel hits Hamas targets in Gaza, killing 2: Ministry

                            <p>By Yaser Albanna</p>  <p>JERUSALEM (AA) – At least two Palestinians were killed Friday when Israeli warplanes struck Hamas positions in the blockaded Gaza Strip, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.</p>  <p>The strikes occurred following reports that two Israeli soldiers had been injured by gunfire near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.</p>  <p>“A military force came under fire near the security fence between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip,” Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraee tweeted.</p>  <p>Two soldiers were injured in the attack near the buffer zone, Adraee added.</p>  <p>Shortly afterward, Israeli warplanes struck several Hamas positions in Gaza, while farmland in the central Gaza Strip came under Israeli tank-fire, according to witnesses.</p>  <p>*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat</p>