Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held five hours of talks with a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump in Jerusalem on Monday, in which they discussed opportunities for advancing peace between Israel and its neighbors, and tried to formulate a coordinated approach for the two leaderships on the issue of settlements.
In a telephone conversation with Abbas, Trump reportedly expressed interest in an internationally sponsored regional conference that will re-ignite the peace process.
Senior Palestinian officials said Monday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will travel to the US to meet with President Donald Trump next month, during which the American leader will propose that the Palestinians restart peace negotiations with Israel in exchange for a freeze on Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and a promise not to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Well-placed American sources said the claim was untrue.
“The U.S. president’s cordial phone conversation with Mahmoud Abbas shows the growing influence of Sunni states, led by Saudi Arabia,” writes Chemi Shalev.
“Israel’s ‘security assistance’ comes from the same pot of money as economic aid. With the White House promising cuts to that part of the federal budget, could we see a surprise reduction in Israel’s share?” writes Samer Badawi.
“Israeli politicians and pundits make sure to talk about Palestinian incitement at every opportunity. Rarely do we ever hear about Israeli incitement that denies both Palestinian history and present reality,” writes Yoni Mendel.
The police do a poor job when it comes to indicting Israelis for ideologically motivated crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank, the nongovernmental group Yesh Din charged in a report it issued on Monday.
“It is hard, if not impossible, to find any logic in Israeli policy toward Gaza, except for the principle that Ehud Barak once called ‘inertia.’ What was will be: Another tightening of the blockade, continued erosion of the Gaza economy, another round of fighting,” writes Noam Rabinovich.
Palestinian Authority security forces reportedly used live fire to disperse a violent protest by Palestinian youths gathered in the Deheishe refugee camp outside of Bethlehem in the West Bank on Sunday evening.
The vast majority of Palestinians believe US President Donald Trump’s policies will ramp up Israeli-Palestinian tensions or contribute to stagnation, according to a poll published on Tuesday.
“The ban on travel to Israel for all those who either question its existence or its current policies is merely symptomatic of the widening gap between its current government’s determination to maintain control over the West Bank and the global consensus that advocates the termination of this occupation,” writes Naomi Chazan.
Labor MK Omer Barlev, who is vying for the leadership of the party, said Sunday that the situation in the West Bank is getting closer to apartheid every day.