US envoys discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace with Netanyahu

US envoys discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace with Netanyahu

Jerusalem (AFP) – The Israeli prime minister Friday held talks with US President Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt and adviser Jared Kushner on the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Their visit is part of a regional tour that has taken them to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where the Arab leaders have said progress to resolve the conflict should be based on a “two-state” solution.

It also comes following a flare-up of hostilities between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that saw Israel pound Hamas targets in response to a barrage of rockets and mortar shells.

A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said they “discussed advancing the diplomatic process, developments in the region and the security and humanitarian situations in Gaza”.

It did not elaborate, but added that at the meeting Netanyahu “expressed his gratitude for President Trump’s support of Israel”.

The talks were attended by US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and the Israeli envoy to the United States Ron Dermer.

A White House statement released this week as Greenblatt and Kushner held talks in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt said the pair discussed with their hosts efforts by the Trump administration to “facilitate peace between Israelis and Palestinians”.

The same statement was released in all three countries and said talks also focused on the “humanitarian situation in Gaza”.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled since 2014.

Trump’s controversial December decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — and the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May — has made the resumption of peace efforts unlikely.

The Palestinians want Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, but Israel considers the entire city to be its eternal and indivisible capital.

The Palestinian Authority said Saturday that US plans to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict are “doomed to fail”.