Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Trump Tries to Bypass Palestinian Leadership in Peace Push

Trump Tries to Bypass Palestinian Leadership in Peace Push

President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner says he has a new peace plan for Palestine and Israel.

Kushner's remarks, made in a rare interview with Palestinian newspaper Al Quds, came as he and special envoy Jason Greenblatt were in the region to advance efforts to renew the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said on Saturday that the US Middle East plans that ignore their rights and the establishment of the Palestinian state will lead to a "dead end".

But Palestinians insist that the eastern part of Jerusalem will one day be the capital of their future state, a position supported by the global community. There has been no peace deal achieved in that time.

In response, Kushner said that "Palestinian leadership is saying those things because they are scared we will release our peace plan and the Palestinian people will actually like it".

In its talks with regional leaders, the Trump administration most of all is attempting to scale back expectations of the "ultimate deal" that Trump past year said he hoped he could do to resolve the long-running crisis.

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Kushner's remarks to Al Quds, in what the paper billed as his first newspaper interview on the administration's Middle East initiative, highlighted the Trump administration's attempts to deliver a message directly to the Palestinian people, when their leaders have refused to meet with the USA team.

"If President Abbas is ready to go back to the negotiations table, then we are ready to participate in the discussion, but if it's not the case, then we are going to make the plan public", he said.

The paper said it had interviewed Kushner on the deal but said it will publish the full interview in its Sunday issue.

Kushner said that the peace plan would be unveiled "soon".

He plans to meet with young people, refugees and political leaders in a tumultuous region Britain had controlled between the two world wars.

After a Tuesday morning visit to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Prince William will hold meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

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The order does not end the "zero-tolerance" policy that criminally prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally. On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security said 2,342 children have been separated from their parents since last month.

"The interview is part of the American administration's attempt to address the Palestinian people directly before presenting its peace plan", a USA official told Israel's Channel 10. Over 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.

"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.

Though William is not expected to comment on the long-standing conflict and stalled peace talks, his visit is being lauded by Palestinians as recognition of their occupied status.

Wasel Abu Yusef, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, claimed the United States has failed to win the backing of some Arab countries for its peace plan.

At least 128 Palestinians have been killed.

On Friday, a few thousand Palestinians took part in clashes along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel for a thirteenth consecutive week, with the Gaza health ministry reporting 2,016 injured.

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According to Israeli website Ynet, Mr Elki described it as "regrettable" Britain had chosen to politicise the royal visit. More than 100 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire during recent protests at the border with Gaza.

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