Middle East/North Africa

Kushner says Palestinians will ‘screw up’ if they reject peace deal

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Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said Tuesday that Palestinians have a “big opportunity” with President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, saying if they reject the plan “they’re going to screw up another opportunity.”

Kushner praised the president’s plan on CNN, saying it gives the Palestinians “a pathway to a state, a continuous territory and conditions where they can earn their way to their independence.” He added that it could provide a $50 billion economic plan that could contribute to their prosperity. 

“It’s a big opportunity for the Palestinians,” he said. “And they have a perfect track record of blowing every opportunity they’ve had in their past.”

The senior White House adviser encouraged Palestinian leadership to agree to the deal and “do what’s best to try to make the Palestinian people’s lives better.”

“If they don’t, they’re going to screw up another opportunity, like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence,” he said.

 

Kushner made his comments after Trump unveiled his administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan. The president announced the two-state solution at the White House on Tuesday alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who approved the proposal along with opposition party leader Benny Gantz. 

The plan would provide an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli control and preserve Israeli settlements along the West Bank. The president said Palestinians would get “more than double” the territory they currently have and receive a capital in eastern Jerusalem.

Palestinian leaders were not included in the negotiations after cutting off contact with the U.S. in 2017. 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the plan after Trump proposed it, saying, “We say a thousand no’s to the Deal of the Century.”

Some leaders in the Middle East, such as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Safadi, condemned the plan, with Zarif calling it a “nightmare” for the region and world.

Updated: 6:25 p.m.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump Israel Israeli-Palestinian conflict Jared Kushner Middle East peace deal Palestine

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