Palestinians say they made counterproposal to Trump plan

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh removes his protective mask during a press conference at the Foreign Press Association in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The Palestinians said Tuesday they proposed a demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem with one-to-one land exchanges with Israel as a counteroffer to President Donald Trumps Mideast plan. Shtayyeh declined to provide further details about the 4 1/2-page proposal but said the Palestinian position on major issues is well-known. (Abbas Momani/Pool Photo via AP)

RAMALLAH – RAMALLAH, West BankThe Palestinians said Tuesday they proposed a demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem with one-to-one land exchanges with Israel as a counteroffer to President Donald Trump's Mideast plan.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh declined to provide further details about the 4 1/2-page proposal but said the Palestinian position on major issues is well-known. He said the plan was submitted in recent days to the Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.S., the U.N., the European Union and Russia.

The Trump administration has chastised the Palestinians for rejecting its plan, which sides with Israel on all the most contentious issues in the decades-old conflict. Israel and the U.S. have long accused the Palestinians of failing to provide their own proposal. The Palestinians say their demands are rooted in international law and U.N. resolutions.

The two sides have not held substantive peace negotiations in more than a decade.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank in line with the Trump plan, which would give the Palestinians limited statehood in a cluster of disjointed enclaves if they meet a long list of conditions. Israel is expected to begin the annexation process as soon as July 1.

The Palestinians have responded to the threat of annexation by cutting all ties with Israel, including security coordination, and saying they are no longer bound by agreements going back to the early 1990s. They are also seeking to rally international support against annexation, hoping to pressure Netanyahu to back down.

Key Arab nations, including Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, have condemned the annexation plan. The European Union, which has close ties with Israel, has also warned that annexation could have negative consequences for relations. It has urged both sides to resume dialogue and to avoid unilateral steps, but has not announced any concrete planned responses.

Shtayyeh told reporters that annexation is an “existential threat” that would mark the “total erosion of our national aspirations.” The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, territories Israel seized in the 1967 war.