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Published: Fri, August 25, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Trump's Team Tours Mideast as Palestinian Patience Wears Thin

Trump's Team Tours Mideast as Palestinian Patience Wears Thin

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to ease a ban on lawmakers visiting a sensitive Jerusalem holy site rocked by violence last month, his office said Thursday.

Trump has asked some of his most trusted advisers to spearhead efforts toward achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians - an issue the White House has repeatedly said is a top priority for the President.

In recent weeks Palestinian officials have criticized the administration's unwillingness to publicly back the creation of a Palestinian state or endorse the Palestinians' territorial demands in the West Bank.

Kushner said Trump is "very committed to achieving a solution here that will be able to bring prosperity and peace to all people in this area".

Joining Kushner are the president's worldwide negotiations envoy Jason Greenblatt and deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell. Number two, they want to know whether the Trump administration will press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank where the Palestinians want to build their own country.

After initially welcoming the election of Trump, the Palestinians have expressed increasing frustration with what they say is a failure by the USA president to offer a clear vision for peace.

"Just when they were due to return to the classroom, Palestinian children are discovering that their schools are being destroyed", said Hanibal Abiy Worku, the County Director for Palestine at NRC.

"This may create a new chance to reach a settlement based on the two-state solution and the Arab initiative and stop the current deterioration of the peace process".

In a statement, the prime minister said he and the visiting U.S. delegation "discussed ways to promote peace and prosperity in the region".

The kingdom is a key player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the palace said in a statement Abdullah, Kushner and Greenblatt stressed the need to start "serious and effective peace negotiations" on the "basis of the two-state solution". But he has since given few details of his vision for peace, managing to frustrate both sides. He may also try to upgrade Palestine's status at the United Nations to full membership.

These troubles will also weigh on Abbas if he is forced into making concessions to Israel.

MS NAUERT: - day I got up here, and that is the importance of Middle East peace for this administration. He accompanied Trump to Jerusalem during the president's first foreign trip in May, and then he traveled to Israel for a 24-hour visit with Greenblatt in June.

"In the intervening months, as the political circumstances of the leaders in the region have changed and frankly deteriorated from the point of view of their flexibility, and as President Trump's own standing has taken a beating because of his domestic controversies, I believe his leverage has diminished considerably".

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