US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will travel to Israel during the last week of October, Israeli officials told Channel 13 News on Thursday.
According to the report, Kushner is expected to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as well as Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz.
Kushner knows Netanyahu well after their many meetings, but this will be his first meeting with Gantz since his entry into politics. This is another acknowledgement by the Trump administration, which had dealt solely with Netanyahu for two and a half years, that Gantz is a key political player in Israel, according to Channel 13’s Barak Ravid.
Kushner's visit is expected to come amid efforts in Israel to form a new government following last month's election.
He will arrive several days after the Netanyahu’s mandate for forming a government expires on October 23.
Assuming Netanyahu fails, Kushner's visit will likely come after the mandate has passed to Gantz.
Kushner will arrive in Israel with deputy assistant to the president Avi Berkowitz and Iran envoy Brian Hook.
Israeli officials told Ravid they think the purpose of his visit is mainly to check the pulse on both Gantz and Netanyahu and get a first hand impression of the political dynamics in Israel.
It's unclear how much the long-awaited White House peace plan will be discussed during Kushner’s visit. White House officials have said they'll wait for the formation of a new government before deciding whether to publish the plan.
The US peace deal, which has come to be known as the “Deal of the Century”, was mentioned in Netanyahu's outline for the establishment of a unity government which was presented on Thursday and which Gantz rejected.
One clause in the proposal stated that Netanyahu and Gantz "will present to the government a joint position on President Trump's Deal of the Century when it is introduced, and on the application of Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea."