Monday, July 24, 2017
7-24-2017: Kushner leading efforts to end Jerusalem crisis
Senior official says Trump's son-in-law is leading American efforts to quell Jerusalem riots.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, is leading the American efforts to quell the crisis in Jerusalem, a senior official told CNN on Sunday.
Kushner is working with Israelis, Palestinian Arabs and Jordanians in an attempt to resolve the issue, the official said.
Along with Kushner, the official said, U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt, Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and the U.S. consul-general in Jerusalem Donald Blome have been holding the conversations.
The official confirmed that Kushner and the three diplomats had a call Wednesday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who was in Hungary, as they tried to agree on a plan. The official said Kushner spoke with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday.
Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian officials declined to give specifics but all said they were in frequent touch with the White House in an effort calm the crisis.
Israel placed magnetometers (advanced metal detectors which are selective in which metals they react to) and additional security cameras around the entrances to the holy site following a terrorist attack at the compound in which two Druze police officers were murdered.
The security measures prompted an outcry from the PA, the Jordanian Waqf, and the Jordanian government.
Arabs have rioted in the Old City and in Judea and Samaria in protest against the security measures. On Friday, three rioters died in clashes with Israeli forces.
As one of Trump's closest aides, Kushner has been given a massive portfolio, tasked with leading an initiative to reshape the way the federal government works and taking a lead on U.S. efforts to broker a lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.
Kushner recently visited Israel as part of his efforts to advance the peace process. During that trip, he met with Netanyahu as well as with Abbas.