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Trump's Mideast team to push peace plan in region

AP  |  Washington 

The says Donald Trump's Mideast negotiating team will visit the region next week as it finalises its as-yet unveiled Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and will hold talks on deteriorating conditions in the Strip.

The trip comes as officials say the is near completion of the plan with an eye on a possible release this summer.

The said Wednesday that Trump's and senior adviser and would travel to Israel, and

It said they would discuss "the next stages of the peace effort" and get ideas from regional leaders about "remaining questions the peace team has."

No stop in the Palestinian territories is planned, although the NSC said the itinerary may be expanded. However, the prospect of Palestinian interest in the peace proposal appears dim.

Peace talks have been frozen since 2014, and Palestinian leaders have been boycotting high-level talks with US officials for months, complaining that the Trump is biased toward

US officials had said in late May that the administration was aiming to release the peace plan shortly after the Muslim holy month of ends later this week.

However, that timeline appears to have been pushed back to at least August, the same officials said today.

The Kushner, Greenblatt trip comes at a particularly fraught time in US-Palestinian relations, which have plummeted since Trump recognised as Israel's capital and moved the to the holy city from

On Sunday, Greenblatt lashed out at the Palestinians' veteran chief negotiator, saying his "false claims" and angry rhetoric haven't brought peace closer.

The negotiator, Saeb Erekat, had earlier accused American officials of acting as "spokespeople" for and criticised the US for moving the embassy.

In an op-ed published in Israel's newspaper, Greenblatt wrote that Erekat's claims "were in many respects simply inaccurate" and suggested it was time for him to step down.

"Dr Erekat we have heard your voice for decades and it has not achieved anything close to Palestinian aspirations or anything close to a comprehensive peace agreement. Other Palestinian perspectives might help us finally achieve a comprehensive peace agreement where Palestinian and Israeli lives can be better," Greenblatt wrote.

Erekat had condemned the US for the embassy move noting it occurred amid violence along the border, just 45 miles away. On the day of its opening in Jerusalem, an estimated 59 Palestinians were killed in at a mass rally led by the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules the territory.

He said the contrast between the two events that day "aptly demonstrates the complete US and Israeli denial of the Palestinian history of dispossession." Greenblatt denounced that comment.

"For far too long, the has turned a deaf ear to such words, but ignoring hateful and false words has not brought peace and it will never bring peace," he wrote.

"While some protesters were peaceful, many were quite violent. In fact, by Hamas' own admission, more than 80 per cent of those killed were operatives.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 21:00 IST
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