Trump's son-in-law meets Netanyahu on Middle East peace trip

Georgia Reed
August 25, 2017

Donald Trump's team must commit to a two-state solution and oppose Israeli settlement construction before the U.S. president's peace push can move forward, Palestinian officials said Wednesday. Kushner said the administration is focused on a regional approach to resolving the conflict.

First of all, they're demanding the Trump administration publicly commit to a Palestinian state, which previous USA administrations have done.

"We are not going to state what the outcome has to be".

A couple dozen Palestinians protested the visit on Thursday in Ramallah, burning the Israeli flag and pictures of Trump.

Palestinians feared the metal detectors would lead to the Israelis taking further control of al-Aqsa's compound. The White House, in pursuing a peace deal, has yet to lay out a framework for negotiations following multiple meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. "And I think all of them are within our reach".

Earlier this week, officials in Ramallah told The Media Line that the PA will resume its campaign to gather unilateral indices of statehood recognition at United Nations agencies and other worldwide fora despite the belief shared by the USA and Israel that such unilateral action is harmful to the quest for peace.

Kushner told Netanyahu that Trump is "very committed" to help broker a peace deal and thanked the prime minister for working with the White House toward that goal. But he has since given few details of his vision for peace, managing to frustrate both sides.

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"Abbas is coming to the end of his reign".

Abbas also faces internal political problems, as his Fatah party struggles with Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza, for control and power in the Palestinian political sphere.

Yet with all the positive talk, the Palestinian Authority continues to blame Israel and the Trump administration for the lack of progress.

Reported easing of ban prompts social media calls for Palestinians to also be present at the Jerusalem site next week.

"That kind of leverage has a very short shelf life if it's not used", warns Daniel Shapiro, the former US Ambassador to Israel under Barack Obama.

"I believe (Trump's) leverage has declined considerably, at least from the point-of-view of getting major concessions or a commitment to a major programme toward two states from the leaders, so that's why I think the shift should come to the more practical on-the-ground steps", he said.

Meeting Abbas later in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Kushner said Trump sought "peaceful relations between the countries in the whole region" and was "very optimistic and hopeful for a better future for all Palestinian people and Israeli people", according to a statement from Abbas's office. "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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