Thursday, May 21, 2009

President Obama to propose new Peace Plan for Middle East

Updated at: 1231 PST, Thursday, May 21, 2009

WASHINGTON: United States President Barack Obama intends to propose a new peace plan for the Middle East that "will emphasize the whole region" and include all the moderate Arab states, Israeli media said.

The solutions, which include a Palestinian state adjacent to Israel, would require both Israelis and Palestinians to cross some of their self-declared red lines.

Palestinians would have to give up the demand for their refugees' "right of return" to areas that are now part of Israel proper, and would instead have to settle for compensation or the option of moving to the West Bank or Gaza Strip.

The capital of the Palestinian state would be in East Jerusalem, which is currently under Israeli control. Most controversially, the plan includes a proposal that the Old City – with sites holy to the three major monotheistic religions – would become an international zone under the flag of the United Nations. Such an arrangement was proposed in the 1947 UN partition plan but was never implemented.

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