Kushner trying to dictate peace, Palestinian chief negotiator says
26 June, 2018, 17:16 | Author: Edward Snyder
US President Donald Trump's special envoy Jason Greenblatt and Israeli Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu.
He plans to meet with young people, refugees and political leaders in a tumultuous region Britain had controlled between the two world wars.
Senior Palestinian official and chief negotiator Saeb Erekatsaid Sunday that Kushner's interview showed "there's nothing of substance" coming from the Trump Administration.
"The United States is not a credible mediator in this: They can't even talk to one of the parties", said Ilan Goldenberg, a Middle East expert at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, and an adviser to the Israel Policy Forum, a nonpartisan organization that works with former Israeli security officials who support a two-state solution.
The Kushner family has also helped fund Israeli settlements in the West Bank - a fact that the senior advisor left off his financial records when he filed with the Office of Government Ethics previous year.
Kushner cast doubt on Abbas' ability to make a deal, alleging that the Palestinian leadership is "scared we will release our peace plan and the Palestinian people will actually like it" because it would offer them a better life, according to the Associated Press. "They want an agreement that enables the Palestinian people to live in peace, and to have the same economic opportunities that their people enjoy". "There are a lot of sharp statements and condemnations, but no ideas or efforts with prospects of success".
At a time when Israel is facing global criticism for its use of live fire against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza and its continued settlement expansion, when the worldwide community has overwhelmingly rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, when Israel's plans to demolish the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar have drawn condemnation, the first-ever official visit from Britain's royal family is a welcome reprieve, one that adds legitimacy to Netanyahu's government and to Israel as an ally of the United Kingdom. Israel considers the eastern sector, home to sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, as an inseparable part of its capital. The annexation is not internationally recognized.
Palestinian officials, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, accused Kushner of trying to undermine Abbas and what they described as their leader's moderate camp.
"The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable", he said.
"Using an aircraft, the IDF attacked a vehicle that was being used by a cell that had launched incendiary balloons in the southern Gaza Strip", the army said in a statement. Media and witnesses in Gaza said the injured were members of Hamas forces.
At least 134 Palestinians have been killed in clashes since mass protests broke out along the Gaza border on March 30, approximately 50 claimed by Hamas as members.
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The visit comes just after Israel marked its 70th anniversary of independence and amid surges of violence along the Gaza border. Until now it had been British policy not to make an official royal visit until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was resolved.
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