Kushner arrives to try for Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough

Kushner arrives to try for Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough

It will accommodate some 40 families whose homes were cleared from the unauthorised settler outpost of Amona.

On Tuesday, hours before Kushner's arrival, Netanyahu announced the beginning of work on a new settlement in the West Bank and has talked of thousands of more settlement homes, ramping up a policy that has always been a major obstacle to peace. During that period, however, the population of existing settlements and unauthorized so-called "wildcat outposts" has nearly trebled.

Since 1992, much of the controversy surrounding Israel's settlement construction in the occupied territories has revolved around expanding existing settlements.

Al-Ayyam and al-Hayat al-Jadida said a member of the Palestinian National Security died while he was on duty at Sa'adah military complex in Jenin, north of the West Bank.

Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told Reuters news agency that the ground-breaking was "a grave escalation and an attempt to foil efforts" by the administration of US President Donald Trump to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Israel decided in March to build Amichai, which means "My People Live", and in recent weeks it has approved plans for more than 3,000 settler homes elsewhere in the West Bank.

Can the USA remain impartial?

Mladenov quoted Netanyahu as saying that "there will never be a government that is more pro-settlement than our government". Yet, highlighting the earth-moving work suggests he believed he had little to fear from US President Donald Trump's administration over settlement building that has drawn Palestinian and global condemnation. In his own trip to the region last month, Trump said nurturing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia could help produce the wider Mideast pact that former U.S. President Barack Obama and his predecessors failed to deliver. "The Palestinian issue is No. 3 on the agenda today", he said, behind security concerns Israel and the Saudis share about Iran and terrorism.

On Wednesday, Greenblatt is expected to be joined by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and his senior adviser.

In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency previous year, he said he had not had any contacts with Palestinians since his time at the yeshiva, when he came into contact with laborers.

Kushner's family foundation, the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to organizations and institutions in West Bank settlements.

Kushner is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and afterwards, to go to the Palestinian West Bank to meet with Abbas.

His platform made no mention of an independent Palestinian state, and his inner circle includes strong supporters of the settlement movement. Moreover, the far-right government has changed the laws surrounding seizing Palestinian land for the sake of settlements to prevent another Amona.

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