Donald Trump has unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, saying the “realistic” two-state solution is a “win-win opportunity” for both Israel and the Palestinians.
Standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, the president said the US administration’s vision would form the basis of direct negotiations between the two sides which was a “historic breakthrough”.
The proposal calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in parts of eastern Jerusalem and it more than doubles the territory currently under Palestinian control.
But it also recognises Israeli sovereignty over major settlement blocs in the West Bank, something which the Palestinians will almost certainly object to.
The Palestinians have already rejected the proposal, accusing Mr Trump of being biased in favour of Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the peace plan a “conspiracy” and he gave it “a thousand noes”.
He said: “I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass.”
Mr Abbas added: “After the nonsense that we heard today, we say a thousand noes to the deal of the century.”
However, the US president said the deal was a “historic opportunity” for Palestinians to achieve an independent state of their own.
Trump who has already recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Irsleal, claimed his vision will end the cycle of Palestinian dependence on charity and foreign aid, as he urged peaceful co-existence between the two sides.
The American leader said he told Mr Abbas that if he chooses peace then the US and other countries “will be there every step of the way to help”.
And urging peace in the region, Mr Trump said it was time for “this sad chapter in history to end”.