US President Donald Trump on Monday said he will announce his suggestion for lasting peace between Israel and Palestine at the White House on Tuesday noon. Earlier in the day, Palestinian leaders, who have not been invited to the White House, rejected the US initiative, accusing the Trump administration of being pro-Israel bias.
"On January 28 at 12 o'clock we're going to show a plan. It's been worked on by everybody and we'll see whether or not it catches all of them. It does, that'd be great. And if it doesn't, we can live with it too. But I think it might have a chance," Trump told reporters in the Rose garden of the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing by his side.
Soon in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that this is a plan that is very important to peace in the Middle East.
"No matter where I went, they say Israel and the Palestinians, they have to make peace before you can really have peace in the middle East. People have been working on this for many, many years and I think we're relatively close to that. We have to get other people to agree with it also. I will say many of the Arab nations have agreed to it. They like it, they think it's great. They think it's a big start," he said.
Vice President Mike Pence and the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were present in the Oval Office along with other top Trump aides and Israeli officials during the meeting of the two leaders.
Responding to a question, Trump hoped that Palestinians would accept the peace deal.
"It (the proposed peace deal) is something they (Palestinian) should want. They probably won't want it initially. I think in the end they will. I think in the end they're going to want it. It's very good for them. In fact, it's overly good to them," he said.
Netanyahu thanked Trump for his "tremendous support for the cause".
"The deal is essentially a opportunity and we're not going to pass it by. We'll talk about that tomorrow. Today I would just want to say thank you for everything you've done for the State of Israel. You've been the greatest man Israel had in the White House. I think tomorrow you can continue making history," the Israeli Prime Minister said.
In his brief remarks in the Oval Office, Netanyahu said under Trump there has been "unprecedented security and intelligence co-operation" between the two countries. "You have made our alliance stronger than ever," he said.
Netanyahu thanked Trump for confronting the "most anti-sematic regime on the planet".
"When you came into office Iran was on the march. Because of your leadership, Iran is now on the run," he asserted.
Thanking the president for withdrawing from "the dangerous nuclear deal", and slapping tremendous sanctions on Iran, Netanyahu said: "Two weeks ago you've taken out the most dangerous terrorist on the planet. Thank you Mr President for your bold decisions and your bold actions. On behalf of the State of Israel, I want to thank you everything that you have done for Israel."