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Kushner's first foray into Mideast peace reveals challenges ahead

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26.06.2017

The press release issued by the US Consulate in Jerusalem on June 22 sounded a lot like the typical protocol press releases issued by Arab state wire services. It mentioned who met and talked about peace, called the meeting “productive,” but failed to make any statement about what happened in the highly anticipated US-Palestinian meeting held in Ramallah late June 22.

The fact that the statement failed to mention settlements or the two-state solution indicates that the meeting was not very positive. Israeli press reports claim that the issues of support to Palestinian prisoners and incitement — the usual Israeli talking points — were major points of contention. For Palestinians, the issue of caring for prisoners is a legal mandate as stated in the 1996 Palestinian Basic Law. Article 27 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Palestinian government guarantees educational and social welfare support to families of prisoners and martyrs. Politically, with over 6,000 Palestinian prisoners and tens of thousands who were killed since the Israeli occupation in 1967, stopping such social stipends would be nothing short of political suicide.

The refusal of the American team to utter the simple words two-state solution or to publicly condemn the settlement activities is seen as a green light to the Netanyahu administration to continue its pro-settlement enterprise. Leading Palestinian daily Al-Quds focused June 23 on the........

© Al Monitor