The Latest: Chief: UN committed to Israel-Palestinian peace

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JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration's release of its Mideast peace plan (all times local):

10:35 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis in resolving their conflict on the basis of U.N. resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements.

He says the U.N. is also committed to realizing the vision of two states “living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, according to his spokesman.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the secretary-general saw the announcement of the U.S. plan for the Middle East, which was presented Tuesday by President Donald Trump.

Trump's plan calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in east Jerusalem while recognizing Israeli sovereignty over major settlement blocs in the West Bank, and was immediately rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Dujarric said: “The position of the United Nations on the two-State solution has been defined, throughout the years, by relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by which the Secretariat is bound.’

Those resolutions call all Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal and call for a solution based on borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, with agreed land swaps.


10:30 p.m.

Israel’s liberal parties are coming out vocally against the Trump proposal and calls by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex West Bank land.

Amir Peretz, leader of Israel’s Labor Party, says Israel needs “a diplomatic compass” and a “renewal of the peace process in the way of Rabin,” the country’s assassinated prime minister who spearheaded the Oslo Accords in the 1990s.

Peretz cautioned that the Trump peace plan “cannot be executed unilaterally.”

“We must thank President Trump for his honest intentions, and after the elections start direct negotiations with states in the region and the Palestinian Authority,” Peretz said.

Meretz party leader Nitzan Horowitz said that as an interim prime minister under indictment, “Netanyahu doesn’t have a mandate to make any decision, and certainly not to annex significant parts of the territories.”

“There is and won’t be an alternative to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the basis of the two-state solution, a key principle that appears in the Trump plan, and avoidance of any unilateral steps,” he said.


10:10 p.m.

Turkey strongly rejected the U.S. plan, describing it as "an annexation plan aiming to destroy the two-state solution and seize Palestinian territories."

A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement also rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration to keep Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital, saying "Jerusalem is our red line,"

"The United States' so-call peace plan was still-born," the ministry said. "The people and land of Palestine cannot be bought off."

The ministry statement said: “we will not support any plan that does not have the support of Palestine. There will not be any peace in the Middle East without ending Israel's occupation.”

Protests were planned near the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ankara and Istanbul.


10:05 p.m.

Germany’s foreign minister is reacting cautiously to the Middle East peace plan announced by U.S. President Donald Trump, saying it raises questions that need to be addressed.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement Tuesday that “only a negotiated two-state solution that is acceptable to both parties can lead to lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” He added that “on that basis, every impetus laid out in such a way as to set the long-stalled Middle East peace process in motion again is to be welcomed.”

Maas said the U.S. proposal “raises questions” that Germany will discuss with its European partners. Those, he said, include the involvement of the two sides in a negotiating process and “its relationship to recognized international parameters and legal positions.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas resoundingly rejected the U.S. plan on Tuesday.


Hezbollah has denounced what it labeled as “the deal of shame” announced by “the savage Trump administration.”

In a statement issued in Beirut Tuesday, the Iranian-backed militant group described the plan as dangerous, adding that it will have very negative repercussions on the future of the region and its people.

It said the U.S. has capped decades of blind support for Israel, its occupation and aggression against Arabs by trying to eliminate the historical and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

“This deal would not have taken place had it not been for the complicity and betrayal of a number of Arab regimes, secretly and publicly involved in this conspiracy, “ it added, in a reference to Gulf Arab countries.

The statement said the deal announced in Washington Tuesday “confirms that resistance is the only option” to liberate occupied land.


9:25 p.m.

Israel’s Blue and White party, the largest in the Knesset and the chief opposition to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, is throwing its support behind the Trump peace plan.

The party said in a statement that the Trump plan is “entirely consistent” with its positions, and “provides a strong, viable basis for advancing a peace accord with the Palestinians, while preserving the existing arrangements between Israel and Jordan and Egypt.”

“In order for implementation to be possible, Israel must move forward toward a strong and stable government, led by an individual who can direct the fullness of his time and energy toward ensuring the country’s security and its future,” the Blue and White party statement said, discounting Netanyahu’s fitness to lead while facing corruption charges.

Blue and White is led by former army chief of staff Benny Gantz, Netanyahu's main political opponent. Gantz met with President Donald Trump at the White House earlier this week to discuss the president's peace proposal.


9 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line nationalist allies are calling for the immediate annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank in reaction to President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan.

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s defense minister, said the proposal offers Israel “an opportunity to determine the territory of our country” and “include all the Israeli settlements in the land of Israel within the sovereign state of Israel.”

Bennett, a hawkish member of the religious nationalist Yemina party, said that Israel “cannot wait until after the elections, and won’t be satisfied with partial sovereignty — take it all now.”

Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s former justice minister and Bennett’s running mate, said Israel is at “a historic moment” and also called for unilateral annexation of West Bank land.

“The dangerous part of the plan, that is the establishment of a Palestinian state or recognition of a Palestinian state, won’t happen,” she wrote on Twitter.


8:55 p.m.

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s defense minister, has called for the immediate annexation of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank in response to the Trump peace plan.

Bennett, a hawkish member of the religious nationalist Yemina party, said the proposal offers Israel “an opportunity to determine the territory of our country” and “include all the Israeli settlements in the land of Israel within the sovereign state of Israel.”

He said that Israel “cannot wait until after the elections, and won’t be satisfied with partial sovereignty — take it all now.”

Bennett also said that his party “would not allow the government of Israel to recognize a Palestinian state under any circumstance” and wouldn’t allow any transfer of territory to a Palestinian control, both of which are outlined in the Trump plan.


8:34 p.m.

The U.S. Embassy in Israel has issued a warning to American citizens following Trump’s peace plan announcement.

The embassy statement prohibits U.S. government employees and their families from travel in most of Jerusalem’s Old City, the West Bank and Gaza Strip in light of “widespread calls for demonstrations” by Palestinians.

“United States citizens should avoid areas where crowds have gathered and where there is increased police and/or military presence,” the embassy statement said.


8:10 p.m.

Liberal Israeli group Peace Now is calling the Trump peace plan “as detatched from reality as it is eye-catching” and says it will not bring stability to the region.

“The plan’s green light for Israel to annex isolated settlements in exchange for a perforated Palestinian state is unviable and would not bring stability,” the organization said in a statement issued after the president’s announcement.

The group restated its call for a two-state solution with east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. Any other proposal, Peace Now said, “will find its way into the dustbin of history.”

Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of the liberal pro-Israel organization J-Street, responded on Twitter by calling the proposal a “scam.”

“People of good will hear Trump say two state solution and get excited. Need to understand what Netanyahu just outlined: Israel intends to move forward with immediate application of sovereignty to 30% of the West Bank,” he said.


6:55 p.m.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has received a call from the leader of the rival Hamas movement, who pledged support in rejecting the Trump administration's long-awaited Mideast peace plan.

The official Wafa news agency quoted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as saying his group supports the president's “steadfast positions” and rejects the White House's peace plan, which is expected to strongly favor Israel.

Haniyeh called on Palestinian factions to set their differences aside and unite against the plan.

Hamas, an Islamic militant group that seeks Israel's destruction, seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a weeklong battle with forces loyal to Abbas and his Fatah movement. Several attempts at reconciliation have failed.

Abbas plans to hold an emergency meeting after Trump announces his peace plan later Tuesday. He has invited Hamas officials in the West Bank to attend.


3:30 p.m.

Thousands of Palestinians are protesting in Gaza City ahead of the Trump administration's announcement of its peace plan, which is expected to strongly favor Israel.

The protesters burned pictures of President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and raised a banner reading “Palestine is not for sale.”

During the rally, Gaza’s Hamas rulers expressed rare support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the rival Fatah movement, welcoming his call for a broad meeting of Palestinian factions.

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said Hamas and “all the factions” would join the meeting, planned for after the Trump plan is announced later Tuesday. He says: “When we are united, neither Netanyahu nor Trump dare to take away our rights.”

Hamas, an Islamic militant group that seeks Israel's destruction, seized Gaza from forces loyal to Abbas in 2007. Several attempts to reconcile the two factions have failed, which many say has weakened the Palestinian cause.


2:50 p.m.

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office says Benjamin Netanyahu will travel from Washington to Moscow on Wednesday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Netanyahu was set to meet with President Donald Trump on Tuesday for the announcement of the White House's Mideast peace plan. The Prime Minister's Office said Netanyahu would "update President Putin on diplomatic developments and the 'Deal of the Century.'"

It was not clear whether Netanyahu's visit was connected with developments in the case of Naama Issachar, an American-Israeli sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for possession of cannabis.

Netanyahu asked Putin last week to pardon the 26-year-old amid a public campaign seeking her release. Putin told Issachar's mother during a visit to Jerusalem that “everything will be alright.”


1:45 p.m.

Vandals set fire to a Palestinian school in the occupied West Bank and left behind graffiti, in an attack that appears to have been carried out by Israeli settlers.

Hebrew graffiti scrawled on a wall reads: “Demolishing homes? Only of enemies," and contained a reference to a nearby settlement outpost that was recently dismantled.

Similar graffiti was left outside a mosque that was torched on the outskirts of Jerusalem last week.

Riyad Shkokani, a teacher at the school, said it is located in a village outside the West Bank town of Nablus close to the Yitzhar settlement. Yitzhar is a bastion of hard-line settlers, who in the past have clashed with Israeli forces and Palestinians.

The Israeli police said in a statement that security forces will enter the area to investigate reports of vandalism.

The attack overnight Tuesday came hours before President Donald Trump is set to announce a Mideast peace plan that is expected to strongly favor Israel.


1:35 p.m.

Russia's foreign minister is calling for multilateral efforts in helping negotiate peace in the Middle East.

The Trump administration is set to announce its long-awaited peace plan on Tuesday. The plan is expected to strongly favor Israel and to pave the way for it to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

Asked about the U.S. plan, Sergey Lavrov said the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers — America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — should analyze the proposal.

Lavrov also emphasizes that it's essential to listen to the Palestinians' position. He says it's also important for the Arab League to weigh in. The league has already put forth its own peace initiative.

President Donald Trump is expected to release the proposal alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later Tuesday. Netanyahu has hailed it as a chance to “make history” and define Israel's final borders.


1:20 p.m.

The main political body representing Israeli settlers is coming out against President Donald Trump's peace plan because it reportedly includes the formation of a Palestinian state.

Yesha Council Chairman David Alhayani said in a statement Tuesday ahead of the peace plan's unveiling that settler leaders were "very disturbed" after meeting with American officials in Washington.

He says: “We cannot agree to a plan that includes the formation of a Palestinian state that will constitute a threat to the state of Israel and a greater threat in the future."

He is calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reject any plan that includes the creation of a Palestinian state.

Most of the international community supports a two-state solution to the conflict and views the settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements scattered across the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war and that the Palestinians want for their future state.


1 p.m.

The Israeli military is deploying security reinforcements in the occupied West Bank ahead of the release of the Trump administration's Mideast peace plan.

The Palestinians have already rejected the plan, which is expected to strongly favor Israel and to pave the way for it to annex large parts of the West Bank. President Donald Trump is expected to announce the plan later Tuesday.

The Palestinians are planning protests across the occupied territories on Tuesday and Wednesday, raising the possibility of clashes with Israeli troops.

The military said Tuesday it has decided to “reinforce the Jordan Valley area with infantry troops.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to annex the Jordan Valley, which accounts for about a quarter of the West Bank.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war. The Palestinians claim the West Bank as the heartland of their future state.

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