Trump's son-in-law meets Netanyahu on Middle East peace trip

Abbas Will Continue with Punitive Measures against Gaza says PA official

Kushner relayed Trump's hope and optimism for "a better future" for Palestinians and Israelis.

The president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is in Jerusalem today.

In Doha, which hosts the political leadership of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Sheikh Tamim and the envoys discussed "the improvement of the humanitarian situation and living conditions in Gaza Strip", Qatar state news agency QNA reported. You know, Jared Kushner is just the latest in a string of American officials who have tried to make peace in that region. Trump's administration has become preoccupied with a series of domestic crises, most recently the fallout from the deadly racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month.

ESTRIN: Well, the White House hasn't really said what the Arab leaders said in those meetings. Palestinian officials are losing patience with talks about talks.

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Donald Trump's team must commit to a two-state solution and oppose Israeli settlement construction before the USA president's peace push can move forward, Palestinian officials said Wednesday. From our side, it's very simple. Above all, they don't think Netanyahu is a partner for peace.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, is facing a growing corruption investigation that could soon lead to an indictment against him. Before arriving in Jerusalem, he met with Arab leaders in the region.

The ministry says the country's top diplomat, Sameh Shoukry, cancelled his meeting with Kushner and the others, which had been scheduled for later on Wednesday.

Ben-Ami's statement came after a spokeswoman for the State Department, Heather Nauert, said on Wednesday that the administration is not endorsing any specific formulas for ending the conflict, because that could create "bias towards one side or the other".

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ESTRIN: Today Kushner met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo.

Yet a U.S. delegation on the ground seeking to salvage peace talks between the two sides now faces increasing pressure to take a stand, with Palestinian Authority leadership, in particular, insistent that Trump recognize the two-state solution as the only viable path forward for peace. And then one lawmaker in Netanyahu's government wrote on Facebook, Trump has failed his efforts with the Palestinians, have no chance of success. Peace talks can be a gamble for a politician.

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

Ahmed Majdalani, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation which Abbas heads, told AFP they were demanding "a clear and frank answer on the position of the administration on the two-state solution and settlements".

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"If Trump is really interested in the ultimate deal as he calls it, he needs to be tougher on Israel on the issue of settlements", Ms Ben-Nun said.

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