According to a report in the Al-Hayat newspaper, no significant progress was made during the Thursday Abbas-Kushner 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.
Settlement construction in the West Bank Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
The Al-Hayat newspaper, a London-based Saudi publication, reported Saturday morning that during the meeting between Jared Kushner, senior advisor and son-in-law to US President Donald Trump, and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, Kushner explained to the Palestinians why the Trump administration believes that stopping the construction in the settlements is not possible. According to the report, Kushner claimed that demanding to freeze the construction as a prerequisite will lead to the downfall of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Diplomatic sources claimed that no significant progress was made during the discussions, which were intended to promote the renewal of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The American delegation told Abbas that the Trump administration will first work towards strengthening security and financial relations between the two sides.
The US delegation to the Middle East, headed by Kushner, held the Thursday meeting that was described as “productive” by the US Department of State, but Palestinian sources have expressed frustration with the administration’s conduct, namely its non-commitment to a two-state solution.