Netanyahu Slams Abbas Ahead of Kushner Visit for 'Poisoning Palestinian Youths' Minds' Against Israel

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, Sept. 30, 2016.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the funeral of former President Shimon Peres, September 30, 2016.Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, two days before the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, claiming that he was "poisoning the minds of Palestinian youth" against Israel.

In a series of tweets in English on his Twitter account, Netanyahu referred to the recent naming by the Palestinian Authority of a square in Jenin after Khaled Nazzal, the former head of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine's military wing. Nazzal was behind the Ma'alot massacre in 1974 in which 26 Israelis were killed, including 22 students.

Netanyahu also attacked Abbas over the fact that the Fatah movement, of which he is the leader, praised the perpetrators of Friday's Jerusalem attack in which Border Policewoman Hadas Malka was killed.

"Palestinian President Abbas tells the world that he educates Palestinian children for peace. That’s a lie," Netanyahu tweeted. "Naming yet another public square for a mass murderer teaches Palestinian youngsters to murder Israelis. That’s the very opposite of peace."

"President Abbas: stop poisoning the minds of Palestinian youth. Educate for peace, not terror," he added.

Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, is set to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority this week. 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 Netanyahu and Abbas.  

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.

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." 

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