Trump's Mideast Peace Envoy Jason Greenblatt to Travel to Israel Next Week

Senior Palestinian official says Greenblatt 'doesn’t qualify as a peacemaker'

U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem, June 20, 2017.
U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem, June 20, 2017.Credit: Haim Tzach/ GPO

U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process will travel to Israel early next week, a senior White House official said Friday.

Jason Greenblatt will take part in "meetings related to our peace effort," and meet with the EU representative on the Middle East Quartet, Fernando Gentilini.

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The official's statement acknowledged recent unrest in the region that followed Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital last week, saying "we anticipated reactions like the ones going on in the region but are going to remain hard at work on our peace plan."

"The president remains as committed to peace as ever," the official said.

Vice President Mike Pence is set to arrive in Israel next week as well, and Greenblatt will stay in the country during his visit, said the official.

Speaking to reporters in Bethlehem on Friday, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, said Greenblatt "doesn’t qualify as a peacemaker."

"I don't know how one can promote peace through unilateral recognition of Jerusalem," she said.

"Trump's move is a new era," she said. "There's no going back. The deal is off."

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