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PA allegation: 'Kushner to offer Abbas commitment from Trump'

PA source leaks Trump offer of economic benefits as confidence-building measures, then responds, 'Money won't restore lost trust.'

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Mordechai Sones,

Kushner (L) and Abbas smiling for cameras; Ramallah, June, 2017
Kushner (L) and Abbas smiling for cameras; Ramallah, June, 2017
Reuters

The Palestinian Authority alleges it received messages from sources in Washington that Jared Kushner, son-in-law of US President Donald Trump and his advisor, will arrive to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with a pledge or guarantee from the president, Israel Hayom reported learning from a senior PA official close to the chairman.

PA sources confirmed that the American delegation is expected to arrive in the region towards the end of next week, or at the latest in the last week of August, according to the paper. The delegation, which will conduct shuttle diplomacy between Israel, the PA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and "other countries", will include the son-in-law of the President Jared Kushner, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell. They are expected to meet PA Chairman Abbas and other senior officials to try to jumpstart a peace process.

Ramallah is signaling pessimism about the delegation's arrival. The last meeting between Abbas and Kushner took place, it was reported, in a tense atmosphere accompanied by mutual recriminations. The PA is now claiming that Trump has sent messages to Ramallah that Kushner will arrive to a meeting with some form of a commitment from the President.

The same PA source claims that Ramallah does not know what guarantees are on offer. However, there were those in PA leadership who purport to believe that these represent confidence-building measures on the part of the President. "We are not hiding our disappointment with American conduct so far," a senior official in the Abbas' bureau told Israel Hayom, "If the Americans want to be a fair broker, they will have to offer the Palestinians confidence-building measures. Our assessment is that Kushner will come with a package of economic benefits in an attempt to mollify the Palestinians."

The senior official was quick to stress that "economic benefits and money will not restore the lost trust, especially since these are economic projects in the field of infrastructure that the Americans committed to in the meeting between Trump and Abbas in Bethlehem."

Kushner meets Abbas in Ramallah, June 2017
צילום: Reuters