Yerushalayim (Andrew Friedman/TPS) – As United States President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner arrived in Israel Wednesday, a White House Official told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that conversations between the US administration and the leaderships of both Israelis and Palestinians have been ongoing ever since President Trump’s visit to Yerushalayim and Bethlechem in May.
According to the official, Trump’s advisers – including his Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt who arrived in Israel on Monday – will discuss “priorities and potential next steps with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“Is it important to remember that forging a historic peace agreement will take time and to the extent that there is progress, there are likely to be many visits by both Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt, sometimes together and sometimes separately, to the region and possibly many trips by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to Washington D.C. or other locations as they pursue substantive talks,” the official told TPS.
“Even while working behind the scenes to advance direct, bilateral negotiations between the parties, we will continue to communicate with the relevant constituencies throughout the region, to remind all that peace is possible and to demonstrate that many positive benefits would arrive from successful negotiations,” the official concluded.
Meanwhile, Kushner went straight from Ben Gurion Airport upon arrival in Israel on Wednesday afternoon to offer his condolences to the family of Border Police Staff Sgt. Hadas Malka murdered in a terror attack in Yerushalayim last Friday. Kushner was accompanied by US ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
“He conveyed the condolences of the President of the United States to the parents, who spoke with his son-in-law on the way and asked to be updated on the visit,” said a relative of the Malka family to the Hebrew-language Ynet website. “[Kushner] said that the president himself asked him to express condolences on behalf of the United States.”
According to the relative, the family members told Kushner about Hadas’ courage, patriotism and talked about her service in both the IDF and the Border Police.
Greenblatt also paid his respects to the Malkas after arriving in Israel Monday. An official statement on his Twitter account read: “Incidences such as this underscore why it is vital to realize President Trump’s vision of a Middle East free from threats of terrorism and extremism.”
Ilana Messika contributed to this report