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

Arab pressure on Abbas to accept Trump’s deal

Kushner and Greenblatt meet Netanyahu for a second time

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.

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. "Don't let your leadership reject a plan they haven't even seen", he added. He has his talking points which have not changed in the last 25 years.

He made no mention of a Palestinian state arising alongside Israel, though he acknowledged that Arab partners support that goal.

The two senior United States 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.

Veteran Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, meanwhile, told the Voice of Palestine on Saturday that the projects for Gaza - done outside the aegis of UNRWA, which he said the United States wants to terminate by proposing direct aid to countries hosting Palestinian refugees - "is actually aimed at liquidating the issue of the Palestinian refugees". The Palestinians want their own future state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Saturday night for the second day in a row with U.S. negotiators Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, even as the Palestinian Authority continues to boycott the team and characterize them as "spokespeople for the Israeli occupation" intent on normalizing "Israeli apartheid".

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

Kushner said Arab leaders had told him they wanted to see a Palestinian state, long the foundation of USA policy in the region.

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".

Kushner said that the proposal is still in the works, only promising that it will be ready "soon".

"The question came up of how to solve the humanitarian situation in Gaza without strengthening Hamas", Netanyahu told his cabinet in public remarks, referring to the Islamist militant group that is dominant in the enclave.

Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 war.

Trump's "deal of the century" is expected to propose detailed solutions to core issues in dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians, such as borders, the future of Israeli settlements, the fate of Palestinian refugees and security.

USA -brokered peace talks collapsed in 2014.

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