Trump’s Middle East plan leaves Palestinians in Lebanon hopeless

Abu Khaled has never been to his hometown of Jaffa. His parents were expelled from the port city along with about 120,000 other residents when it came under Israeli control following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

They eventually settled in Beirut, in what is today the Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp, where Abu Khaled was born in 1959.

The father of two said he would die a happy man if he could one day see the town of his ancestors. But under the “Peace to Prosperity” plan released by US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, that prospect appears remoter than ever.

Under the plan, also referred to as the “deal of the century”, the majority of the territory that is now Israel and the occupied West Bank would formally become part of the Israeli, with illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley annexed. The occupied Golan Heights would also be annexed to Israel.

A second entity, referred to as the “future state of Palestine”, appears on a conceptual map as an archipelago of disjointed territories connected by a number of roads and tunnels. It is wholly surrounded by Israel, except for a small sliver of territory in Gaza that borders Egypt.

The proposed Palestinian state does not include Jaffa, one of the oldest port cities in the world, to which roughly 15 percent of Palestinian refugees trace their heritage. Palestinians would have no right of return there under the plan.

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