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Kushner faces battle to sell economic plan for Palestinians at peace conference



Days before Jared Kushner was due to kick off the economic half of his Mideast peace plan on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whisked U.S. national security advises off on a helicopter tour of the West Bank's Jordan Valley.

Speaking during the trip through the area, which runs along the eastern part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank near the border with Jordan, Netanyahu customs reporters that holds an Israeli presence there should be part of any peace agreement.

Responding to the prime minister's remarks, Bolton said the Trump administration would take the prime minister's concerns "very much into account."

National Security Advisor John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visit an old army outpost over the Jordan Valley on Sunday. Abir Sultan / AFP – Getty Images

Pictures of the tour which also includes U.S. Ambassador David Friedman will serve as a potent symbol of occupation for many Palestinians, and underlined his near-unanimous rejection of the conference in the Bahraini capital of Manama.

This rejection comes despite the Kushner's plan of funneling billions of dollars Gaza Strip and West Bank

Billions of dollars aren't going to resolve the decades-long deadlock, according to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who said the American plan is biased toward Israel and Palestinian political aspirations are also neglected.

Focusing on economic issues "is unacceptable before the political solution is discussed," he told on his Fatah party on Sunday.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas Getty Images

While the administration is touting business opportunities, there has been little clarity on the political side of things. The trump administration has said that it is politically half coming, but have refused to put it on when it would be released.

policy supporting a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict – adding to the profound disillusionment of many Palestinians. [AmbassadorFriedmanaddedfueltothefirewhenhetoldTheNewYorkTimesearlierthismonththatIsraelhadtherighttoannexatleastsomeoftheWestBank

More than 3 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem along with close to 620,000 settlers who moved to the territories in the years after Israel captured the area in The 1967 Arab-Israeli was

Bolton's comments during his tour of the Jordan Valley Sunday's further proof that the Trump administration was "singing from Netanyahu's hymn sheet," said Yossi Mekelberg, a professor of international relations at Regent's University, London. and senior consulting research fellow at Chatham House.

Unilateral annexation of occupied land does not include part of an agreement. rnational law, he added.

Politics vs economics

Under the Kushner plan, donor countries and investors would funnel in about $ 50 billion into the region. Around $ 28 billion would go to the Palestinian territories, as well as $ 7.5 billion to Jordan, $ 9 billion to Egypt and $ 6 billion to Lebanon.

"I laugh when they attack this as the 'deal of the century,'" Kushner said. Reuters, referring to President Donald Trump's claim for the plan. "This is going to be the opportunity of the century if they have the courage to pursue it." Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special envoy for peace talks, suggested to the editor of The Jerusalem Post last week that the publication of the long-awaited plan could be delayed until November following crucial elections in Israel.

"There is a lot of talk that we're trying to buy the Palestinians, that this is merely an economic peace, that's completely untrue," he said. also told Israel's Channel 12 News last week

Trump's approach to the Palestinian issue since taking office did not "instill confidence among the Palestinians."

Last year, Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem and halted funding for UNRWA, the United Nations agency that has supported Palestinian refugees for seven decades, as well as other projects – deepening the hardship and desperation of millions of Palestinians in the blockade Gaza Strip, and occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank

The White House also closed the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington. In March, Trump endorsed Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights from Syria

Associated Press contributed.


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