Trump Reps Headed Back to Region, Will Try Again To Re-Start Talks
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would welcome representatives of the Trump administration to Israel in the next few weeks, as the latest installment in a push to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Trump’s Senior Advisor (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner and Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt will head the delegation, which is expected to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah and will also include Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell. No date for the visit has been announced.
Trump has placed a premium on brokering an Israel-Palestinian agreement, calling it the “ultimate deal,” but his efforts have heretofore met with little success. Two weeks ago, Kushner admitted that “there may be no solution” to the ongoing conflict, and in May Trump reportedly lambasted Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) for lying to him about anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian Authority.
As a result, Palestinian sources have said they feel that Washington has lost the ability to serve as an impartial broker because of strongly pro-Israel personalities in the administration, namely Kushner, Greenblatt and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
White House sources said the group will also hold meetings with leaders of Sunni Arab states Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt, although it is not yet clear if the delegation would be traveling to those countries – is unlikely to bolster Palestinian confidence in American and Israeli intentions.
Senior levels of the Palestinian leadership believe that Netanyahu has decided capitalize on the regional threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program in order to bypass the Palestinian issue by building a regional anti-Iran coalition, with the approval of the Trump administration.