In Tense Meeting, Jared Kushner Reportedly Protested Abbas' Refusal to Condemn Jerusalem Terror Attack

London-based Al-Hayat cites Palestinian official as saying Trump's envoy Jared Kushner also complained that Abbas refused to meet U.S. envoy Friedman due to his support for settlements

A handout picture provided by the Palestinian Authority's press office (PPO) on June 21, 2017, shows Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas (R) US President's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner (L) in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
A handout picture provided by the Palestinian Authority's press office (PPO) on June 21, 2017, shows Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas (R) US President's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner (L) THAER GHANAIM/AFP

The delegation led by U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner voiced their discontent at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for refusing to condemn a terror attack in Jerusalem that left one dead last week, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper reported Saturday.

Al-Hayat also reported that during the tense meeting between Kushner and Abbas, which took place on Wednesday, the American delegation also protested the Palestinian president's refusal to meet with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman because of his support for settlement construction.

On Thursday, senior Palestinian officials told Haaretz that the Palestinian leadership was greatly disappointed with their meeting with Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, Trump's Mideast envoy. According to them, Kushner and Greenblatt, who came from a meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, raised in the beginning of the meeting Israel's complaints over the payments and the incitement.

"They sounded like Netanyahu's advisers and not like fair arbiters," a senior Palestinian official said.  "They started presenting Netanyahu's issues and then we asked to hear from them clear stances regarding the core issues of the conflict."

The official added that the Palestinians were also disappointed by Kushner's refusal to voice a clear stance on Israeli construction in the settlements. 

The White House said on Wednesday that with Kushner's return to Washington, he and Greenblatt will brief Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and they will discuss the adminstration's next steps regarding the peace process, or whether to abandon it altogether. On the Palestinian side, sources said that they were still uncertain as to what the American stance on the resumption of talks would be.

After Kushner's meeting with Abbas and with Netanyahu, the White House said in a statement that the two leaders voiced their commitment to advancing Trump's goal of reaching a real and sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians.