Published: Mon, August 28, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

White House Official: Kushner Never Said Settlement Freeze Will Topple Netanyahu

White House Official: Kushner Never Said Settlement Freeze Will Topple Netanyahu

A senior White House official on Saturday told Ha'aretz that a report on Saturday in the London-based al-Hayat suggesting Presidential advisor Jared Kushner had told PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a settlement freeze could bring down the Netanyahu government was "nonsense", insisting "this comment was never made".

"We know that this delegation is working for peace, and we are working with it to achieve what President [Donald] Trump has called a peace deal", Abbas said at the beginning of the meeting, according to the Palestinian Authority's news site Wafa. In January, U.S President Donald Trump pledged to urge Israelis and Palestinians for a peace deal.

President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner led last week's mission, with the delegation also including Jason Greenblatt, envoy for worldwide negotiations, and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell.

However, the White House is yet to lay out a framework for negotiations following multiple meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Netanyahu said such a deal was "within our reach" and promised to work with the Trump administration "to advance peace, stability and security in our region".

Despite his recent pessimism, Abbas sounded a positive note during his meeting with Kushner. "We know that things are hard and complicated, but there is nothing impossible with good efforts".

Chairman Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, issued his own statement, saying, "President Abbas's meeting with the United States delegation was constructive, deep and positive, and all issues of common interest were seriously addressed". Gen. Majid Faraj, and Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

"While Netanyahu keeps putting up obstacles to avoid getting to the negotiating table for fear that his government will collapse, Abbas wants to move forward because he is under growing domestic pressure", he said.

Both sides and the mainstream media tried to give a positive spin, but there's every indication that last week's meeting between U.S. special envoy Jared Kushner and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was just as stormy as the first time the two men got together back in June.

Americans again raised the issue of salaries paid by the Authority to prisoners and families of dead- Abbas told Kushner that he would not stop the reimbursements.

Kushner and Greenblatt traveled to the Middle East previously this summer to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. "We hope they can work together, live together for many years and have a much better life".

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