Kushner meets Netanyahu to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

25 August, 2017, 01:38 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stands during a reception ceremony for Jordan's King Abdullah II in the West Bank city of Ramallah

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said that he believed peace in the region between Israelis and Palestinians was "within our reach", according to The Times of Israel. Kushner said the administration is focused on a regional approach to resolving the conflict.

Previous US governments have committed to an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, but Trump broke with longstanding US policy in February by saying he would be happy with either a one-state or two-state solution if the parties were happy.

"We have a lot of things to talk about - how to advance peace, stability and security in our region, prosperity too", Netanyahu said in brief public remarks as he met Kushner in Tel Aviv. Such a vision has always been the worldwide consensus on what the future of the region should be: an Israeli state next to a Palestinian state.

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"The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah express strong concern about the recent confiscations of Palestinian school structures undertaken by Israel in Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank", the missions said in a statement.

"I do not think the American envoys are coming carrying anything - nothing at all", he told reporters.

Painting a pessimistic picture, Mahmoud Al Aloul, the second-ranking official in Abbas' Fateh movement, accused United States negotiators of focusing in their talks with the president on "Israeli lies" about Palestinian incitement to violence and ignoring what he described as fundamental statehood issues.

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But the Trump administration has refused to declare that as the goal of a peace process, eroding the willingness of Abbas to follow the White House's lead. But he has since given few details on his vision for peace, managing to frustrate both sides. "And I think, really, that's the best view as to not really bias one side over the other, to make sure that they can work through it". "We are not going to see it happen again". These issues also include a Palestinian state built on pre-1967 borders with a capital in Jerusalem, and a solution for the "Palestinian right of return".

Three months later, Netanyahu and Abbas face different political realities, and Trump's ability to jump-start negotiations may be dwindling. Trump also has been less critical of Israeli settlement building then his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, who repeatedly clashed with the Netanyahu government over the issue and demanded a settlement freeze as a precondition for peace talks, a stance the Palestinians then adopted as well.

-Israeli regional goals hold little indication that the Trump administration is prepared to support the call from a majority of Palestinians that their state, peace and security be officially recognized by the USA government. "They all come in thinking they'll be the ones to solve this, and then they find out how hard it really is".

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