Ramallah: Protesters torch Trump photos upon delegation visit

by Harriet Bell August 25, 2017, 1:15
Ramallah: Protesters torch Trump photos upon delegation visit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Thursday with President Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who arrived in Jerusalem to try to restart stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Donald Trump's team must commit to the two-state solution and opposing settlement construction before the USA president's peace push will move forward, Palestinian officials said Wednesday.

President Mahmud Abbas reportedly told Israeli leftwing politicians recently that despite more than 20 meetings he was unclear what Trump's strategy was.

"We greatly appreciate the efforts of U.S. President Donald Trump who pledged from the beginning that he is going to work for the ultimate deal", Abbas said ahead of the meeting.

The visit, which takes place as part of a swing through the Middle East, will also include Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell.

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Palestinians have been critical of the Trump administration's efforts in the region.

However, Palestinian leaders have voiced criticism saying that the U.S. has not clearly committed itself to the two-state solution, which would see a Palestinian state established in the West Bank and Gaza alongside Israel.

His platform played down the significance of Israeli settlements and he surrounded himself with a group of advisers with deep ties to the settlement movement, including Kushner and the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

According to a report in Vanity Fair, Bannon pushed President Trump to adopt a tougher stance toward the Palestinians, while urging him to keep a campaign promise to move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, only to face resistance from Kushner. I have pleaded with them to say the same thing to Netanyahu, but they refrained.

Ahmed Majdalani, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation which Abbas heads, told AFP they were demanding "a clear and frank answer on the position of the administration on the two-state solution and settlements". The White House, in pursuing a peace deal, has yet lay out a framework for negotiations following multiple meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. But he has since given few details on his vision for peace, managing to frustrate both sides.

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The envoys are scheduled to meet Israeli lawmakers in Jerusalem and Palestinian officials in Ramallah later this week. "They're still in the process of learning and this is a very important stage", said Amidror.

After initially welcoming the election of Trump, the Palestinians have expressed increasing frustration with what they say is a failure by the US president to offer a clear vision for peace. Palestinian officials are losing patience with talks about talks. Talks can fail or require making concessions.

In May, Kushner and Greenblatt both accompanied the President on his visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to discuss a peace agreement.

I mean, why are you so loath to say - to commit yourself - to recommit yourself to the two-state solution?

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