Kushner rips Abbas, says Mideast peace plan due 'soon'

Esequiel Farfan
Junio 24, 2018

Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's senior adviser, said that he is "ready to work with President Abbas", a Palestinian newspaper reported on Sunday.

Kushner, who is on the last leg of his Middle East tour, spoke to the popular Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, claiming he is "ready to work" with leader Mahmoud Abbas, who, in his turn, is refusing to meet with Kushner as long as Washington is "changing the rules of the game" midway.

Kushner added that the Middle East peace plan is nearly completed, but did not elaborate on its details, the AP reported.

Abbas has severed communications with the Trump administration since December, when the US formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announced plans to move its embassy there.

Challenged on the assertion by an Abbas aide that the American plan was "a waste of time and is destined to fail", Kushner said he believed that the Palestinian leadership said such things "because it's afraid that we are going to publish our peaceful plan that will be liked by the Palestinian people".

"There have been countless mistakes and missed opportunities over the years, and you, the Palestinian people, have paid the price", Kushner said, according to a transcript of the interview provided by the White House.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza - territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

Saudi Arabia is said to have offered Abbas the money needed for the PA to improve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip in return for him accepting Trump's deal.

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The two senior USA officials arrived in Israel late on Thursday on the final leg of a five-country Mideast tour that began in Jordan on Tuesday, and included Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar.

"However, I do question how much President Abbas has the ability to, or is willing to, lean into finishing a deal. A peace hasn't been achieved during that period", he said.

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 situation started before President Trump came into power but we have to try to make improvements. Hamas is regarded as a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States.

He added: "They want to see a deal that respects the dignity of the Palestinians, and puts an actual solution to the issues that have been discussed for decades".

He will hold talks with both Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Even as the Palestinian Authority was boycotting the U.S. delegation, their spokespeople were saying that if the USA wanted to broker a peace deal, the address was the PA.

Pressed by the interviewer on the "traditional" issues, as opposed to the economic concerns that he had focused on, Kushner did not go into detail, but said "the fundamental traditional issues are very important" and that his team appreciated "the historical differences between the two sides". "Palestinian leadership must create better lives, not sacrifice those lives for Hamas' grim agenda of terror".

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