US Administration Considers Walking Away from Peace Talks

Donald Trumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner. (Photo: via Social Media)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly left “furious” by a recent meeting with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to a report Saturday from London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat that also implied Trump was weighing whether or not to pull out of peace negotiations.

Anonymous Palestinian officials told al-Hayat that Abbas was outraged by the Ramallah meeting with Kushner – who was accompanied by lead US international negotiator Jason Greenblatt – after Kushner relayed Israeli demands that reportedly included a request that the Palestinian Authority (PA) stop paying compensation to the families of Palestinian prisoners.

Abbas reportedly accused Kushner and Greenblatt of taking Israel’s side and refused to commit to the request. The Palestinian president had already defended the payments as a “social responsibility,” and said Israel was using the issue as a pretext to avoid peace talks.

The Americans had supposedly first called for all payments made to the families of Palestinians prisoners to be halted altogether, with American officials reportedly describing the payments “as a means of inciting terror.”

Israeli newspaper Haaretz also reported that Palestinian officials were “greatly disappointed” by their meeting with Kushner and Greenblatt. “They sounded like (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu’s advisers and not like fair arbiters,” a senior Palestinian official told the newspaper.

Al-Hayat’s report claimed that Trump was trying to determine the future of reigniting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in the near future, including the possibility of withdrawing completely from the process altogether.

Trump has repeatedly said peace between Israelis and Palestinians is something he could achieve as president. “I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said in April. “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians – none whatsoever.”

After meeting with Abbas last month, Trump said finding a peace agreement would be easier than expected. “Let’s see if we can find the solution,” Trump said during a luncheon with Abbas and his advisors. “It’s something that, I think, is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”

(Maan, PC, Social Media)

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