Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday that President Trump’s Middle East peace plan is an “opportunity of a lifetime for Israel and the Palestinians and for peace.”
Netanyahu made the comment one day after he joined President Trump at the White House to reveal the long-awaited Middle East peace plan meant to bring to an end the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The plan, which has been opposed by the Palestinians, was touted by Trump as the “most detailed proposal ever put forward” toward a lasting peace in the region.
Trump said Tuesday that his vision “presents a win-win opportunity for both sides.”
On Wednesday, Netanyahu called Trump “the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House,” highlighting Trump’s actions while in office, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights region.
“I think the president has done something extraordinary,” Netanyahu said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. “President Trump has brought forward a peace plan that enables us to make a deal of the century. It gives Israel security, it gives the Palestinians national dignity, it allows us to move forward so that we can live together.”
“It's a deal that we should both make and we’re prepared to make it,” he continued. “I think the president did something that is concrete that can work.”
Long billed as the only way for the Palestinians and Israelis to actually come to terms, Trump’s plan calls for a two-state solution – with the creation of a future “state” of Palestine.
The plan would require the Palestinians to meet certain benchmarks -- rooting out terrorism, stopping "pay to slay," implementing steps toward free speech and political reforms – to become a state, but Trump promised that they would have U.S. backing if they did. It also calls for the creation of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and for more than doubling the amount of territory the Palestinians control.
“I think we should all take this deal and we should do it right away,” Netanyahu said.
“I know they [Palestinians] have their objections, but I saw three Arab ambassadors there in that extraordinary ceremony that the president got to be there, that’s amazing,” Netanyahu said. "I heard the statements from leading Arabs countries who said to the Palestinians, ‘You should negotiate under American auspices.’ Indeed they should. We should all move to make this deal.”
According to the plan, Israel will maintain the sovereignty of the Jordan Valley east of the West Bank.
“Assuming we have a peace agreement, then the two parts where the Palestinians work have to be somehow connected. There will be a tunnel, we’ll have security control over each end of that tunnel, but they can move back and forth,” Netanyahu explained on Wednesday.
Trump’s plan also calls for $50 billion over the next 10 years in promised international investment in a new Palestinian state.
“He's offered an enormous vision of economic growth,” Netanyahu said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. “Our Palestinian youngsters there are unemployed, they don’t have a future, he [Trump] comes in and he says, ‘We’ll bring you right into the 21st century, way into the 21st century with jobs, with technology, with investments, with cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians and the surrounding states.’”
Netanyahu went on to say that Trump’s new and realistic vision is “based on practical steps for changing the Middle East, changing this conflict that has not been solved for 100 years.”
The plan calls for Israel to halt the construction of any new settlements in contested areas for four years, during which time details of a comprehensive agreement would be negotiated. The deal would also require the Palestinians to accept conditions they have been previously unwilling to consider, such as accepting West Bank settlements.
Netanyahu acknowledged on Wednesday that Trump is asking Palestinians and Israelis “to do some hard things and compromises on both sides,” adding that he is “ready to make those compromises.”
“I’m ready to move forward on the president’s deal to achieve peace,” Netanyahu said, acknowledging that right now Palestinians reject the plan.
“I think over time they’ll see they’ll never get a better deal," he added.
When asked what his hopes are for Palestinians, Netanyahu said, “That they take up the president’s deal, that they work out a final peace with us, that they take the $50 billion of investment that can change their lives that would finally end this fantasy of eliminating Israel and be our neighbors in the future of prosperity, security and peace.”
“That's what the president put forward and we should take it,” he added.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.