The settlement issue does not worry Netanyahu, after the turning of "painful concessions" into the share of Palestinian negotiator.

Heather Ann Nauert, the spokesperson of the United States Department of State, said that "DOS seeks to convince the Palestinian negotiator that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of occupation, is the best way to resume negotiations!"
she added "This recognition and the transfer of embassy to Jerusalem, are an "innovative" way to achieve the settlement, and it is recorded exclusively in the name of its creator, Trump".

At the same time, Netanyahu was exaggerating in praising the American president, because his statement about Jerusalem, was a continuation of the Balfour Declaration. This is true, and the convergence of American and Israeli positions, confirms not only the continuation of Palestinian Nakba, but also its renewal.

For this reason, the Palestinian political and popular reaction to Trump's decision, started with demanding the stop of betting on US role and the disengagement from the Oslo Accords and their economic, security and political constraints, which have been  as a coup against the national program, in addition to their negative impact through empowering the settlement projects and the disruption of official Palestinian decision by the will of donor countries, primarily the United States.


The warm welcome of Israeli Prime Minister to Trump's decision, is due to two inseparable reasons that are based on his considerations:

* The recognition (that has been stated by a great power) of the legitimacy of Israel's occupation for the Palestinian territories since June 1967, is a precedent. Alongside its recognition of the right of Jewish State to continue its occupation, it allows Israel to continually implement its expansionist policies and provides it with a political cover against any UN draft resolutions that address these policies.

Therefore; Netanyahu and his government consider that Trump's decision has resolved the settlement issue regarding Jerusalem, which is a one of major issues, that has been avoided by successive Israeli governments in all rounds of negotiations with the Palestinian negotiator ,since the signing of Oslo Accords. That is why, Netanyahu's government was deliberately launching settlement tenders in Jerusalem during the visit of Biden (former US Vice President in Obama period) to Israel in 2010, in light of the strong objection to the US president's 2009 speech in Cairo on settlements and Palestinians' right to an independent state.

As soon as Trump announced his decision on Jerusalem, Tel Aviv declared its plans to build 14,000 settlement units in the Palestinian Bank, half of them in Jerusalem. After the decision, Netanyahu called on the Likud members of Knesset to accelerate the discussion of "the law of nationalism" and legalizing it , in addition to call on states to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, which is a way to restrict the Palestinian negotiator of doing any attempt to "revive" the settlement.


* But there are some reasons why Netanyahu welcomed Trump's decision. All of them are related to Netanyahu, the prime minister who aspires to keep his seat of leadership to the ruling political coalition in Israel.


This decision supports Netanyahu, who is suffering from financial and administrative scandals and is surrounded by suspicions of crimes of corruption that could put him before legal accountability, and cut the way to achieve his dream of maintaining his office as the prime minister for a new term.


Now, the Israeli prime minister is sending messages to his opponents and enemies, and before that to the governmental coalition and even to his party (Likud). These messages say that he was practicing a right policy that led to the protection of settlements and settlers, when he engaged in serious quarrels with the former US administration because of this policy, besides that, all his opponents were wrong when they warned him that these quarrels would affect American-Israeli relations. But with the advent of new US administration, Netanyahu has begun by reminding of his previous responses to the warnings raised after the previous US administration passed the resolution of Security Council on settlements,  slightly before the ending of Obama's presidential term. What Trump has declared since assuming the office of US administration, has put the Israeli prime minister in a stronger position vis-a-vis his opponents and rivals, both within the governmental coalition and in the opposition.


The most important matter for him, that the issue of settlement is no longer worrisome, after all the "painful concessions" have been turned into the share of Palestinian negotiator, because of the matching of Israeli and American visions about the conditions that were proposed by US envoy, Greenblatt, to the leadership of Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu also, is so satisfied with the US administration's insistence that these conditions should be implemented and with the recent decision by the US Congress to cut off the salaries of Palestinian martyrs' families , that are paid by American aid to the PA. All these have made Netanyahu assured, that Trump's administration will not propose conditions only, but it will obligate the Palestinian Authority to implement them. Moreover, the fabricated crisis that has been created by America on the PLO office and its activity in Washington, is motivating Netanyahu to be more confident about the United States' intervention as a direct partner with Israel in the face of Palestinians and their national rights.


In this regard, Netanyahu does not hide, among the circles surrounding him, that he had credit for the "adjustment" that has been made on the course of American policy in this direction, through the many friends of Israel in the Senate, Congress and in the economic and security pressure centers in the United States.


Therefore, the Israeli prime minister is seeking to turn the gains that Israel has gained from the American position, and the official Palestinian bet on this position, to personal gains by the endorsement of his role in achieving these gains. It seems that Washington is trying to freeze the Palestinian negotiator in its place, through inviting President Abbas to the White House and meeting Trump, and through the statements of its secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who tried to underestimate Trump's decision by claiming that the final status of Jerusalem, is determined by negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides; although he knows that the United Nations issued dozens of resolutions that affirm the necessity of Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian and Arab territories, occupied by the aggression of 1967; including East Jerusalem, as well as the resolution of United Nations' General Assembly (2012), which recognized Palestine as a state under occupation on the border of 4th of June, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


It is clear that Trump and his administration are interested in Netanyahu's maneuvering policy, which has been repeatedly used by him and often enabled him to circumvent his enemies and rivals. Also , depending on this policy, he had repressively succeeded in stopping the formation of government after the winning of its party (Kadima) in the Knesset elections in 2009, then he formed the government and he has been assuming its office until today; in addition to the practice of misleading in his political speech to serve his interests and the interests of his party.


Now the American maneuver is trying to absorb the Palestinian anger that has flared up in the streets of Palestine and beyond them, and circumventing the international rejection of the Trump's decision on Jerusalem, in addition to the confirmation of Secretary-General of the United Nations on its resolutions that are contrary to what the US president has announced.


The most important of all, is to correct the official Palestinian position and end its addiction to the failed bet on the American role, after Washington has made it clear, that it is a hostile party in any proposed settlement, especially since the titles of (the bargain of century) that have been proposed by Trump's administration, are in line with the "economic peace" plan, which has been announced by Netanyahu, which preclude the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Mohamad Alsahli: Editor in Chief of Alhourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.