More than 100 House Democrats on Friday signed a letter to President Trump rejecting his Middle East peace plan, saying it would “hurt Israelis and Palestinians alike, pushing them toward further conflict.”
“It does not have our support, and the Israeli government must not take it as license to violate International law by annexing all or portions of the West Bank,” they wrote.
The House in December passed a bipartisan resolution, H.Res. 326, led by Lowenthal and affirming U.S. support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is achieved through direct negotiations and without any unilateral annexation of territory.
During the plan’s unveiling ceremony at the White House on Jan. 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to immediately exercise Israeli control over areas in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, though he has since retreated on that pledge.
A senior Israeli official later told reporters there were “technical” difficulties over whether the U.S. plan allowed for Israel to move forward on annexation immediately or not.
A vote in the Israeli Knesset on accepting the plan has also stalled as the country heads to an unprecedented third round of elections on March 2.
Democratic lawmakers accuse Trump of “an inappropriate intervention in a foreign election” by releasing the peace plan with Netanyahu last month “against the backdrop” of the Israeli premier coming under formal indictment charges on allegations of corruption.
“In addition to the highly problematic nature of your proposal, the timing of its release suggests motives unrelated to helping solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the letter reads.
The Palestinian Authority and the majority of Arab states have rejected the Trump administration’s peace proposal, a nearly 200-page document that purports to outline the parameters for a solution to achieve a Palestinian state.
Critics say the plan calls for a Palestinian state in name only and instead traps noncontiguous Palestinian territory inside an Israeli security barrier, with Israel exercising civil and security control over the West Bank and Jordan Valley, as well as air, land and sea ports.
The Trump administration says that territory identified in the plan for a future Palestinian state will remain “frozen” for a period of four years to allow for a Palestinian response.