Netanyahu and Greenblatt reaffirm commitment to genuine, lasting peace

Israel’s Prime Minister and the US President’s special envoy have discussed the possibility of making progress towards a sustainable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, in Jerusalem yesterday for more than five hours.

A statement released by Netanyahu’s office said that they “reaffirmed the joint commitment of both Israel and the United States to advance a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians that strengthens the security of Israel and enhances stability in the region”.

Netanyahu said that “under President Trump’s leadership, it is possible to advance peace between Israel and all its neighbours, including the Palestinians”.

Netanyahu and Greenblatt also expressed their commitment to improve economic conditions for the Palestinians.

In addition, the statement referred to the settlement issue, saying that they “continued discussions relating to settlement construction in the hope of working out an approach that is consistent with the goal of advancing peace and security”.

Greenblatt is scheduled to meet Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah today and Israel’s opposition leader Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem tomorrow.

An official from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv said that Greenblatt “will be listening to Israelis and Palestinians about their views and perspectives, and hearing their thoughts about how peace is possible”.

This morning Army Radio is reporting that the scheduled discussion at Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation over a draft bill to annex the West Bank city of Ma’aleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, has been delayed till Sunday. Maariv says that over the past several days, Netanyahu has taken steps to prevent the bill being discussed during Greenblatt’s visit, as he is concerned it will put the government in an “embarrassing situation” with the Trump administration.

The draft bill is being spearheaded by Jewish Home’s Bezalel Smotrich and Likud’s Yoav Kisch.