Arab pressure on Abbas to accept Trump’s deal


U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser, Jared Kushner, said the "Deal of the Century" - a backchannel plan to reach a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, will be announced soon.

Nabil Sha'ath, a former PA foreign minister who now serves as an "international affairs adviser" to Abbas, accused Kushner and Greenblatt of "working on behalf of Israel in the White House".

Jared Kushner, centre, meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, right, and Midlle East envoy Jason Greenblatt in Cairo on the latest stop in a regional tour to discuss a blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Kushner was given responsibility over Washington's Israel-Palestinian policy, along with other top postings, after his father-in-law was inaugurated one year and five months ago.

His comments were met with a fierce response from Erekat, who said the United States administration believes "there will be a better economic situation by pulverising the political rights" of Palestinians. The PA leadership, he added, does not have the ability to face any sanctions the U.S. could impose on the Palestinians once they reject the American peace plan.

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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.

It remains unclear how the Trump administration would proceed with a peace plan without Palestinian cooperation.

Kushner, who has taken the lead on Trump's plan, said he did not "wish to talk about the details of the deal that we're working on".

Britain's Prince William on Sunday kicked off a politically delicate five-day tour of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, preparing to meet with young people, refugees and national leaders in a tumultuous region that Britain had controlled between the two world wars.

Israel captured East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank during the 1967 war and then annexed it in contravention of global law. Israel claims that Hamas is orchestrating the protests. Abbas now governs only small autonomous zones in the West Bank.

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The worldwide community, he added, "is getting frustrated with Palestinian leadership and not seeing many actions that are constructive towards achieving peace". "There are a lot of sharp statements and condemnations, but no ideas or efforts with prospects of success". "My dream is that both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples should be the closest allies in the fight against terrorism, economic achievement, progress in science and technology". Israel considers the city, home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims and the emotional epicenter of the conflict, as an inseparable part of its capital. The annexation is not internationally recognized.

Asked by the paper what Arab leaders had told him, Kushner said they "clarified that they want to see a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital".

Kushner did call on Abbas to join the talks: "If President Abbas is willing to come back to the table, we are ready to engage; if he is not, we will likely air the plan publicly".

Kushner represented the White House at the grand opening of the newly-inaugurated US Embassy in Jerusalem in March, which saw fierce clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian protesters that left over 100 people dead and thousands injured.

Later in the day Israel's military said its aircraft carried out several strikes in Gaza in response to Palestinians launching "arson and explosive balloons".

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