Palestinian President Abbas’ ability to realize a peace agreement doubtful

U.S. President Donald Trump’s top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner revealed that Washington plans to announce in the near future its peace initiative for Israel and the Palestinians, which would seek to bring-an-end the decades old Israeli-Arab conflict. In an interview to the Palestinian daily, ‘Al Quds’, Kushner underscored doubts of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ will or ability to reach a peace agreement, yet emphasized that the Trump Administration will move forward on the matter “with or without the Palestinian leader.” In response to Kushner’s interview, Palestinian officials accused the United States of “trying to undermine Abbas’ authority,” while rejecting Washington’s peace initiative as a determined move to dictate a solution rather than negotiate a deal.

Jared Kushner, together with Trump’s Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt, toured the region last week, during which they held “extensive meetings” on the American initiative with heads of state in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar. A senior U.S. official told TV7 that the meetings project Washington’s ongoing efforts to apply a regional approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which will provide a U.S.-brokered initiative a regional consensus, “a foundation for normalizing relations between the Jewish state and the moderate Arab world.” The American team concluded their tour over the weekend in Jerusalem, where they met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader mentioned the importance of their meetings, during his weekly cabinet session, emphasizing that “there was a special focus on the situation in Gaza,” amid a growing danger of violence deteriorating to a new conflagration.

It is important to note that while the Trump administration sought to involve the Palestinian leadership in advancing its peace initiative, the Palestinian Authority – under the directives of President Mahmoud Abbas – continue to boycott any U.S. officials visiting Israel, vocally rejecting any American role as a broker for peace.