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Arabic press review: US envoy says 'deal of century' won't mention two-state solution

In exclusive interview to Saudi paper, Jason Greenblatt also says he prefers to use 'neighbourhoods and cities' rather than settlements
US special envoy Jason Greenblatt in Jericho in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 2017 (AFP)

Greenblatt: US will not force plan on Israeli-Palestinian conflict 

US President Donald Trump's envoy to the Middle East has told Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that the long-awaited US peace plan, dubbed the "deal of the century", would be "realistic" and could end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In an exclusive interview with the newspaper, Jason Greenblatt denied that Washington had any intention of forcing the Palestinian and Israeli sides to accept the plan. 

He said the plan will not use the phrase "two-state solution" because it is a term that "leads to nothing", and that he prefers to call illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank "neighbourhoods and cities".

Instead, he said, it will focus on resolving the Gaza situation and dealing with factions such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

"We do not make any guarantees... We cannot push the parties to return to the negotiating table," Greenblatt was quoted as saying.

"What should bring them back to the table is when they see the political plan that will be linked to the economic plan."

Trump has yet to set a date for the release of the plan. 

Lebanon cracks down on Palestinian workers  

Lebanese authorities have launched a campaign against illegal foreign workers, sparking anger among Palestinians refugees in the country, according to online news site Arabi21.

The Lebanese Ministry of Labour has announced that it will take steps against companies and businesses that employ foreign workers illegally, including shutting them down, the website reported.

Palestinian refugees have limited work options and are denied citizenship in Lebanon.  

In reaction, activists launched a social media campaign under #starvingmeservesthedeal, referring to the US president’s "deal of the century" and saying that the Lebanese government is bolstering the Israeli occupation and American support for it.

Palestinian activists have called upon refugees in Lebanon to pack up and head to the Lebanese-Palestinian borders on 28 July to return to their homeland, according to Arabi21. 

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.