Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
US envoy Jason Greenblatt, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday for more than five hours with Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations. Greenblatt arrived in the capital earlier in the day.

They reaffirmed the joint commitment of both Israel and the United States to advance a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that strengthens the security of Israel and enhances stability in the region.

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The prime minister told Greenblatt that he believes that under President Trump’s leadership, it is possible to advance peace between Israel and all its neighbors, including the Palestinians, and he looks forward to working closely with President Trump to achieve that goal.

Greenblatt reaffirmed President Trump’s commitment to Israel’s security and to the effort to help Israelis and the Palestinian Authority achieve a lasting peace through direct negotiations.

“The prime minister and Greenblatt continued discussions relating to settlement construction in the hope of working out an approach that is consistent with the goal of advancing peace and security,” said the office of the prime minister in a statement late Monday night.

“Mr. Greenblatt stressed how important enabling the growth of the Palestinian economy and improving the quality of life for Palestinians are to President Trump,” the statement said.

“The Prime Minister assured Mr. Greenblatt that he was fully committed to broadening prosperity for Palestinians and sees it as a means of bolstering the prospects for peace.”

Prior to their meeting on Monday, Netanyahu told Greenblatt, “I hope we can do some good things together.” The envoy sent by Trump responded by saying, “I hope we’re going to do great things together.”

He is expected to meet Tuesday with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas as well. On the agenda will be a discussion about Abbas’ visit to the White House in Washington DC, following an invitation extended by President Donald Trump during a phone conversation between the two last Friday.

The meetings constitute Greenblatt’s start in the effort to re-launch final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.