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U.S. to announce 'deal of the century' soon: Kushner

24 June 2018

White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by PhRMA - Immigration drama grips Washington Trump Organization, Kushner Companies cut ties on hotel deal The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by PhRMA - Trump caves under vast pressure - what now? "The goal behind this is to sustain the coup [by which Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas in 2007] and keep Gaza separated from the West Bank on the way to creating a mini-state in Gaza while bringing down the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank", Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio, according to the PA's official Wafa news agency.

"If President Abbas is ready to go back to the negotiations table, then we are ready to participate in the discussion, but if it's not the case, then we are going to make the plan public", he said. But he added: "I question President Abbas' ability, or desire, to finish the deal". He has the same talking points that haven't changed in the past 25 years. He was referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The team met with leaders of Israel, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to discuss the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and the administration's proposals for a peace deal. "Don't let your leadership reject a plan they haven't even seen", he added.

"This (U.S.) administration is really trying to destroy the Palestinian moderate camp".

Senior Palestinian official and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday that Kushner's interview showed "there's nothing of substance" coming from the Trump Administration.

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Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina meanwhile said on Saturday that United States efforts, which "ignored" Palestinian positions on issues such as Jerusalem, statehood and refugees, were doomed to fail. "This is the road to any negotiations or any meetings", said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Abbas.

He will hold talks with both Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

The Palestinians have been infuriated by Trump's policies and see east Jerusalem as their future capital, insisting the status of the disputed city is an issue to be negotiated between them and the Israelis.

Kushner spoke in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper Al Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Kushner, who has taken the lead on Trump's plan, said he did not "wish to talk about the details of the deal that we're working on". Most experts question whether Kushner and Greenblatt, both of whom had no prior diplomatic experience, can achieve any deal.

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It will be the first official visit to those areas by a member of the British Royal Family, and follows recent violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians around the Gaza Strip.

"These things are clear - one, how do we maintain security, and two, how to prevent a wider escalation - if this is at all possible", Netanyahu said.

It appears meanwhile that Palestinians would have to surrender the principle of the right of return of Palestinian refugees expelled during the creation of Israel, while the future of illegal Israeli settlements and the final border between Palestine and Israel would be decided at a later date.

Israel captured the city's eastern half, home to holy sites for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and two years later, Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas' forces.

US -brokered peace talks collapsed in 2014.

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U.S. to announce 'deal of the century' soon: Kushner