White House Official: Kushner Never Said Settlement Freeze Will Topple Netanyahu

Aug 28, 2017, 01:10
White House Official: Kushner Never Said Settlement Freeze Will Topple Netanyahu

Kushner heard out the Palestinian leader's demands and postponed any responses for the next meeting they have.

"We highly appreciate President Trump's efforts to strike a historical peace deal, a statement he repeated more than one time during our meetings in Washington, Riyadh and Bethlehem", Abbas said at the beginning of the meeting.

Sources claim that Kushner explained to the Palestinians why freezing the construction in the settlements as a prerequisite is not possible, claiming it will harm Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner led last week's mission, with the delegation also including Jason Greenblatt, envoy for global negotiations, and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.

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But Palestinian leaders note that the White House has not even said clearly whether its focus will be a two-state solution to the conflict, which has been longstanding U.S. policy.

USA officials have said that they have not ruled out a two-state solution but that it is up to the two sides, not them, to agree on a way forward.

Both sides and the mainstream media tried to give a positive spin, but there's every indication that last week's meeting between United States special envoy Jared Kushner and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was just as stormy as the first time the two men got together back in June.

Should Kushner and his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, fail to strong-arm the Israelis back in line, the Palestinians said they would "turn to an alternative plan on which they have been working for the past two years".

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"We are not going to state what the outcome has to be - it has to be workable to both sides".

More so, Abbas said that Israeli transgressions must come to an end.

Netanyahu is meanwhile under pressure from his right-wing base not to make any concessions to the Palestinians and to continue Israeli settlement building, and there is little incentive at the moment for him to change course, some analysts say.

Shapiro, now a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies think-tank in Tel Aviv, said the focus should instead be on short-term goals such as improving the Palestinian economy in order to keep the possibility of a two-state solution alive.

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Ramallah- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his administration's commitment to a two-state solution being the sole settlement for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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