US Delegation Told Abbas That Settlement Freeze Would Topple Netanyahu's Government

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Jared Kushner is once again flexing his expert peacemaking muscles by telling Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel can't stop building illegal settlements on Palestinian land because that would be bad for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian officials stated that the delegation - led by President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner - made the comments during a meeting with Abbas in Ramallah last Thursday, indicating that the Palestinian demand for an Israeli construction freeze as a precondition for resuming direct peace negotiations is off the table, reported the London-based Arabic daily newspaper Al-Hayat.

"We know that this delegation is working for peace, and we are working with it to achieve what President [Donald] Trump has called a peace deal", Abbas said at the beginning of the meeting, according to the Palestinian Authority's news site Wafa.

"President Abbas reaffirmed Palestinian positions, especially the principle of the two-state solution within the 1967 borders and the cessation of all settlement activities, stressing the relevant resolutions of worldwide legitimacy, the signed understandings, the road map plan and the Arab peace initiative", Abu Rudeina said.

"We want to work toward a peace that both sides can agree to and that both sides find sustainable. We know that things are hard and complicated، but there is nothing impossible with good efforts،" he added.

"There was a feeling that the Americans were offended", the source said, "and that's why Abbas was quick to explain himself and say that he was willing to reach a peace deal". That has rankled Palestinian officials, who say negotiations without any set parameters will only benefit the Israeli side.

"We affirm that this [US] delegation is working toward peace, and we are working with it to achieve soon what Trump called the 'peace deal, '" he added.

"Without a vision it will be negotiations for negotiations sake،" he opined.

Part of Kushner's trip was meant to reach out to key nations that he sees as part of the process of bringing peace between Israel and Palestine.

"President Trump is very optimistic and hopes for a better future for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people", Kushner said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also slated to meet Trump on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meet in NY next month.