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How US plan for Mideast could shape next Israeli government

US President Donald Trump plans to present his "deal of the century" after the Israeli elections but before a new government is formed, when it could affect the new coalition's formation.
A man walks past a Likud election campaign billboard, depicting U.S. President Donald Trump shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad - RC1275660830
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There is a new date for the "deal of the century" US President Donald Trump promised at the start of his term two years ago. White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner said at the Warsaw Mideast Conference that the United States will put forward a Middle East peace plan after the Israeli general election on April 9 and that both sides will have to make some compromises. Knowledgable sources confirmed to Al-Monitor that Trump plans to lay out his detailed plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians after the Israeli election but before the formation of a new government, regardless of who heads it.

The choice seems a missed opportunity. The US administration could have laid out its plan during the electoral race, which does not seem to focus on any significant diplomatic issue. That way, it would have appeared on the public agenda and required the parties to adopt a stance in reaction to it. But that won’t happen. It is safe to assume that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled to Trump that by keeping the promise he made last year to submit his plan within four months, he could cost the Likud seats to other right-wing parties such as HaBayit HaYehudi. Netanyahu knows that the later would oppose any diplomatic plan even if it came from such avid settlement supporters as Ambassador David Friedman. At the same time, Israel Resilience head Benny Gantz probably has no qualms about the delay, either. His party is far from reaching any agreements with its partner, Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem, over the issue of partition of the land, without which there can be no peace plan.

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