He declined to answer if the plan would include longstanding US support for a Palestinian state, after hints by the administration that it would not, but said it would include investment to boost the Palestinian economy. “Our focus is really on the bottom up, which is how do you make the lives of the Palestinian people better, what can you resolve to allow these areas to become more investable?” he said.
“We deal with all the core status issues because you have to do it, but we’ve also built a robust business plan for the whole region,” he added. Kushner also said the plan would address Israel’s concerns over security. “I think that what we do is something that allows for Israel to maintain security, but there will be tough compromises for both,” he said. Netanyahu in his election campaign vowed to annex parts of the West Bank where Israeli settlers live, a prospect that would doom longstanding Palestinian hopes of a state.
The Israeli leader said Tuesday he plans to name a new settlement in the occupied Golan Heights after Trump in appreciation of his recognition of Israel’s claim of sovereignty there. Trump broke with longstanding international consensus last month when he recognized Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The decision came only two weeks ahead of the tightly contested Israeli election, which saw Netanyahu win a record fifth term in office. The Trump administration has also cut funding that the United States had supplied to a UN agency helping Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Last year, it slashed funding to the agency by $300 million and said it would not repeat the $60 million that it did provide.
Kushner has also cultivated close personal ties with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of his efforts to forge regional backing for his plan. The heir to the Saudi throne has however been the focus of widespread criticism over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate. Kushner sidestepped a question Tuesday about reports that the US intelligence services had concluded that the prince had ordered the journalist’s murder. “I’m not going to dispute American intelligence services’ recommendations. I’m also not going to talk about anything intelligence related,” Kushner said.