The Trump administration Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt has left on his way to Israel Sunday, to help resolve the violence that has broke out in Jerusalem as well as in Judea and Samaria and parts of green-line Israel, a senior Trump administration official told the media.
Greenblatt’s mission this week appears tougher than on any of his previous visits, since on Friday night Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas broke all contacts with Israel, including the cooperation between the PA and Israel’s security services.
The senior White House official said that Greenblatt intends to help resolve the struggle between Arab mobs and Israeli police and military forces over security arrangements at the Temple Mount. The Trump people believe that the wave of protests, riots, and murders are borne by incitement by elements looking to derail the peace talks.
“This appalling violence both on the Temple Mount and on this Israeli family is a clear escalation. This is somebody trying to undermine the process,” the official said.
On Wednesday night, in his hotel room in Budapest, Hungary, Prime Minister Netanyahu conducted a half-hour conference call with Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, to try and find a resolution that would calm the Arab mobs, according to Ha’aretz.
The White House official stressed that the Americans did not pressure the PM remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount, but offered alternative security arrangements on the Temple Mount instead.
A little more than 20 years ago, in the fall of 1996, after then Prime Minister Netanyahu had ordered the opening to the public of the Western Wall Tunnel, PA Chairman Yasser Arafat called for a violent response–on grounds very similar to the case being made today by the Arabs, namely Israeli sovereignty–and riots erupted from September 23 to 27 (from the night after Yom Kippur to the eve of Sukkot, 5757). 25 IDF soldiers and about 100 Arabs were killed and 1,000 were injured in the first confrontation since Oslo between the IDF and the Palestinian National Security Forces (NSF) – which was authorized by the Oslo Accords. The riots spread to the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria.