Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Kushner arrives to try for Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough

Kushner kicks off Mideast peace push with first solo visit The Latest: Kushner meeting with Netanyahu called productive
Heather Davidson | 22 June, 2017, 10:15

JERUSALEM, June 20 (Reuters) - Israel broke ground on Tuesday on its first new settlement in the occupied West Bank for two decades, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, announcing the symbolic move on the eve of a peace mission by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

According to the White House official, Trump strongly believed that peace would be possible and its a top priority for him to achieve the last peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel says seven Arabs were arrested over a plot to kill army officers for the Islamic militant Hamas that rules Gaza to avenge the killing of one its members. Trump has asked Israel to show "restraint" in its settlement construction.

The Palestinians claim the territory captured by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 war for their future state, a demand that has wide global support. Most countries view the Israeli-built settlements on land captured in the 1967 Middle East war as illegal, which Israel disputes.

On the campaign trail, Trump indicated he would be far more sympathetic to settlements than Obama.

"The internal deliveries of electricity to consumers inside the Gaza Strip is not the responsibility of the electric company and is done by internal Palestinian authorities in the Gaza Strip", it said.

While both Netanyahu and Abbas say they're eager to revive peace talks under the new administration, any conciliatory tone evident during Trump's visit has evaporated.

U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov made the assessment in his second quarterly report to the 15-member council on the implementation of a December 23 resolution adopted with 14 votes in favor and a US abstention.

Trump's senior aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner will arrive on Wednesday for meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Greenblatt, Trump's global envoy, will arrive on Monday.

"They have had to deal with crippling Israeli closures, Palestinian divisions and have lived through three devastating conflicts".

It was the latest incident in a wave of Palestinian attacks that began in September 2015.

Thirty-eight Israelis, two American tourists and a British student have been killed in Palestinian stabbings, shootings and car-rammings.

The United States traditionally shields Israel, Washington's long-time ally that receives more than $3 billion in annual USA military aid, from council action.

The Palestinians, meanwhile, will come under pressure to halt what Israel sees as incitement to violence in their official media, speeches and social media.

Robert Piper, UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, last week, warned that Palestinians were being "held hostage to this longstanding Israeli siege".

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