Netanyahu meets Kushner

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman yesterday to discuss the next steps towards the publication of a US plan for Israeli-Palestinian talks.

On Tuesday US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told CNN that the US would likely propose a plan for civilian autonomy for Palestinians in the West Bank and not an independent Palestinian State. Friedman said the administration is not using the phrase “two state solution” and added: “We believe in Palestinian autonomy, we believe in civilian self-governance, we believe that autonomy should be extended up until the point where it interferes with Israeli security and it’s a very complicated needle to thread. The last thing the world needs is a failed Palestinian state. Right now the Palestinian government is so weak.”

Kushner met King Abdullah II in Jordan on Wednesday and Jordanian media reported that in the meeting King Abdullah reaffirmed: “The need to achieve just, comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution, which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative, international law and relevant UN resolutions.” Abdullah also said that the any plan should be in accordance with the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

The US team is now expected to travel to Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia to discuss the next moves but the White House yesterday denied media reports that President Trump intended to invite Arab leaders to a summit at Camp David in September.

A new poll by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion, found that the majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza oppose the Palestinian Authority’s policy of rejecting the US plan, with only one-third supporting the position. Polling was conducted between 27 June and 19 July. 33 per cent of Palestinians in the West Bank and 34 per cent in Gaza agreed that the plan should be rejected now. 19 per cent in the West Bank and 28 per cent in Gaza said the PA should not reject the plan and 25 per cent in the West Bank and 27 per cent in Gaza said the PA should look at the plan before taking a position on it.