A senior White House official on Saturday told Ha’aretz that a report on Saturday in the London-based al-Hayat suggesting Presidential advisor Jared Kushner had told PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a settlement freeze could bring down the Netanyahu government was “nonsense,” insisting “this comment was never made.”
According to the al-Hayat report, Abbas demanded of the visiting US delegation during their meeting last week that the Administration commit officially to the two-state solution along the 1967 lines—meaning the removal of all Israeli settlements from Judea and Samaria, and insisted on a settlement freeze for the duration of the coming peace talks.
At which point Trump’s son-in-law told Abbas that the US would not ask Israel to halt settlement construction because such a move would mean the collapse of the Netanyahu government.
Judging by the statements made after the meeting by both sides, it was had been more successful than their June meeting, which a US source described as “tense” and “disappointing.”
Abbas said in a statement Thursday: “We confirm that this delegation is working for peace, and we are working with him to arrive soon at what President Trump called a peace deal. We know that things are difficult and complicated, but nothing is impossible with sincere efforts.”
Kushner said on Thursday that “President Trump is very optimistic and hopes for a better future for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people. We hope they can work together, live together for many years and have a much better life.”
US sources also denied a report on Israel’s Channel 10 Saturday night that Abbas told his American guests he had no intention to stop payments to terrorists sitting in Israeli jails, nor to released terrorists or the families of dead terrorists.
All of which suggest that the meeting in Ramallah on Thursday was as terse and unproductive as the one in June had been, but both sides – and possibly the Netanyahu government as well – prefer to smear a heap of lipstick on this pig.