Kushner, Greenblatt to Visit Israel This Week to Discuss Israeli-Palestinian Peace

White House official says two will meet Netanyahu, Abbas 'as they pursue substantive talks'

FILE PHOTO - White House senior advisor Jared Kushner enters prior to a joint news conference in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017.
Reuters / Carlos Barria

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son in law and senior adviser, will visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority this weeks, a senior White House official has told Haaretz. 

Kushner will arrive to the region two days after Trump's special envoy to the peace process, Jason Greenblatt, and the two of them will hold meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas. 

Greenblatt will arrive to Israel Monday while Kushner will join later this week on Wednesday. His arrival to the area will reinforce the fact that President Trump sees the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as a "top priority," according to the White House, and also that Trump "strongly believes that peace is possible."

Jason Greenblatt, left, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in March.
\ HANDOUT/REUTERS

On Tuesday Greenblatt will meet with PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, Palestinian intelligence chief Majed Faraj and economic advisor to President Abbas, Muhammad Mustafa. A senior Palestinian official said that the three were planning to present the Palestinian position on each of the core issues of the negotiations.

Greenblatt will also meet on Tuesday in Jerusalem with Netanyahu's advisors, led by Isaac Molho. Greenblatt's meetings on Tuesday are being held in preparation for further meetings on Wednesday to be held between Kushner, Netanyahu and Abbas.

Kushner last visited Israel in May, when he accompanied Trump during his two-day visit to the country, which also included a short meeting with Abbas in Bethlehem. 

A White House official told Haaretz that "it is 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 added that "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 the many positive benefits that would arise from a successful negotiations."