Kushner speaks about peace plan, fuels election battles on Right

A demonstrator holds a sign reading'leave during a Gaza Strip protest against Mahmoud Abbas

A demonstrator holds a sign reading'leave during a Gaza Strip protest against Mahmoud Abbas

White House adviser Jared Kushner, giving a broad outline of a USA peace plan for the Middle East, said it will address final-status issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including establishing borders.

The US president also declared that his administration would no longer fund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), reversing a policy of support by every American leader since the organisation was created almost 70 years ago.

US officials said that Kushner, who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law, is expected to focus on the economic component of the plan during the week-long trip.

Jared Kushner's comments about his planned Mideast peace initiative are receiving a cool reception from Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

In an interview with Sky News Arabia, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, who was put in charge of the Israeli-Palestinian file, said, "We want to bring peace, not fear".

"The political plan is very detailed and focuses on resolving the border issue, and if we can resolve this factor and bring peace away from intimidation, then we can guarantee people's freedom", he said.

Kushner's reference to borders heated up Israel's election campaign on Tuesday.

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Noting that "very little has changed over the last 25 years", Kushner said the plan sought to "formulate realistic solutions for the issues of 2019, which will improve quality of life".

The Palestinians have pre-emptively rejected the plan, with President Mahmoud Abbas saying he will not negotiate with the United States in the wake of Mr Trump's controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator in talks that collapsed in 2014, said on Twitter about Kushner's comments that "Trump's map" envisaged "isolated territories for the Palestinians".

Kushner, Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and Brian Hook, the State Department envoy for Iran, are due in Bahrain on Tuesday and will make stops in Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Interestingly, Kushner also noted that the deal has so far received endorsement from the major Arab states, adding that they are also united with Israel against the perceived threat of Iran.

In the coming elections, said Bennett, the question is clear: "right, or 'Palestine'".

It came a day after New Right Party leader Naftali Bennett said that Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are "coordinating the presentation of a plan to establish a Palestinian state the day after the election". Opportunity. We want people to be able to better their lives and not allow their grandfather's conflict to hijack their children's future.

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