We Won’t Accept Parts of Trump’s Plan, Israeli Minister Says

Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Rafi Peretz said Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump's peace plan has "clauses we cannot accept." 

"We will not accept the establishment of a Palestinian state in my homeland. I will oppose any mention of recognition of a Palestinian state in the legislation to come,” Peretz wrote in a Facebook post. “We will not accept a construction freeze [on settlements]. The State of Israel has sent the settlers [to the settlements] and it is impossible to accept a situation in which we cut off these communities."

Peretz conceded that Trump is a "true friend of the State of Israel" and that he was sure his intentions were in Israel's best interests. He said this was proven by recognition of the Golan Heights and Jerusalem and the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. 

"There is no doubt that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's great friendship with President Trump have brought us to a state of international recognition with Judea and Samaria," he added.

Peretz called Trump's Middle East plan a "golden opportunity that must be siezed," but warned that in accepting the plan decision-makers will do long-term damage to the country and "our values." 

"We will support the application of sovereignty and push for it with all force. And we will oppose the steps that will promote the establishment of another state between the Jordan River and the sea," he said.

On Thursday, President Reuven Rivlin called for an end to what he called “attempts to silence” the conversation around Israel's plans to annex parts of the West Bank, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu condemned statements by a prominent settler leader criticizing Trump’s plan.