Top PA official: No talks while Netanyahu investigated

A senior PA official says that talks with Israel are impossible while police investigate Netanyahu.

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Tzvi Lev,

U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (2nd R) a
U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (2nd R) a
Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS

A senior PA official ruled out talks with Israel, saying that it would be impossible to conduct serious negotiations with Israel while Prime Minister Netanyahu remains under police investigation, the London based Al-sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, compared the embattled Netanyahu to previous Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, recalling to the Arab daily that "we were on the verge of an agreement, but it failed because of his corruption investigation. How can Netanyahu negotiate a historic agreement while under investigation?"

In 2008, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to agree to the creation of an independent PA state including all of Gaza, nearly all of Judea/Samaria, and parts of Israel – a total area equal to 99.5% of the size of Judea and Samaria. He was felled soon after, being forced to resign over the multiple police investigations into his affairs.

The remarks come as President Trump has indicated his intention of trying to restart talks. Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell will arrive in Israel later on this month, for a marathon series of talks designed to jump-start negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The delegation is scheduled to arrive in late August, and will also make stops in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt. and Qatar.

Kushner has been skeptical of the effort, telling congressional interns in a speech last month that he wasn't sure peace between Israel and the Palestinians was possible.

"There may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on.” Kushner was recorded as saying.