18:27 GMT29 March 2020
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    The Trump administration announced last month that its Middle East peace plan, dubbed "the Deal of the Century", will not be released until after the Israeli elections scheduled for September.

    US Special Envoy for Middle East Jason Greenblatt plans to resign after the much-anticipated Israeli-Palestinian peace plan is made public.

    "It has been the honor of a lifetime to have worked in the White House for over two and a half years under the leadership of President Trump. I am incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace. This vision has the potential to vastly improve the lives of millions of Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region", Greenblatt said in a statement, per The New York Times.

    Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who's also on the Mideast team, reportedly heaped praise on Greenblatt, saying he had done a "tremendous job leading the efforts to develop an economic and political vision for a long sought after peace in the Middle East".

    According to the insiders, Greenblatt wants to return to his family - his wife and six children - who stayed at their home in New Jersey. His initial plan was to stay only two years when he began working at the Trump White House in early 2017, reports say.

    Dr. Nir Boms, a research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University suggests that the surprising development "may hurt the American mediation agreements although considering the fragility of the entire arena, the slow progress and the upcoming US elections, this may not change the trajectory of events in a significant way".

    AFP, meanwhile, cited senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi as describing Greenblatt's resignation as a "final admission of failure".

    "They tried to bash the Palestinians into submission, to blackmail us to accept whatever their plan was. From the beginning it was doomed to failure. I think the Palestinians as a whole are going to say 'good riddance'", she said.

    Last week, Greenblatt, who has been working on the plan to resolve the decades-long crisis, stated that Washington would not release the so-called "Deal of the Century" before Israel's elections set for September.

    A few days later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Trump's plan will be rolled out "immediately" after Israeli elections later this month.

    Trump's Mideast peace plan was supposed to be unveiled over the summer, but it was delayed after the Israeli prime minister failed to form a coalition following the April election and called a fresh vote.

    In June, the White House revealed the economic portion of the peace plan, proposing a $50 billion investment initiatuve that would establish a global investment fund to boost the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab states economies, as well as to finance a $5 billion dollar transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    While Tel Aviv has welcomed the Trump peace plan, the Palestinian side has repeatedly pointed out that the US cannout be a mediator in negotiations with Israel, and has boycotted the Trump administration.

    Tags:
    Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mideast peace plan, peace plan
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