By Middle East Affairs
Jared Kushner, U.S envoy, and President Trump’s son-in-law began his tour of the Middle East on Tuesday, first meeting with Jordan’s king as part of his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan campaign.
Kusher was accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s legal advisor to Israel.
According to the White House, talks with Jordan’s key were focused on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, as well as U.S. efforts to position itself at the key facilitator in the peace process between Israel and Palestine.
President Trump has made several notions that his peace plan is almost ready to be released to the public. Before its release, however, Palestine has already announced that they are not interested, so far, they have cut ties with Trump’s administration, following his hotly controversial move to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and consequently relocate the U.S. embassy there.
Palestine has said that the U.S. is not a neutral party and can’t be trusted to facilitate the peace process, as they routinely favor, side and support with Israel.
Kushner and Greenblatt will also be visiting Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to campaign for funds for the rebuild Gaza initiative. Palestine has not agreed to meetings with the U.S. envoys, but the U.S. has said that they are welcomed.
Palestinians seek to unite the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip into their state with full self-governing rights. Israel captured the territories in the 1967 Mideast War and has since then prevented Palestinians from self-governing rights including restricting the freedom of movement and right to work. In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza, and Hamas began its rule of Gaza, in recent years life quality in Gaza has further deteriorated, with many calling it an open prison, as war with Israel, has ruined most infrastructure but no building material has been imported to Gaza to allow the rebuilding of the city.
The U.S. has attempted to rally support for Gaza’s economy while simultaneously cutting, and freezing its aid to Palestine, Gaza’s economy has been further weakened in recent years due to its Israel- Egypt’s blockade, which restricts movement of people, goods, and services.
Hamas which more or less is the government in charge of Gaza is seen as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Israel and its Western allies, further complicating support for Palestine.
The peace plan that the U.S. is purposing most likely would not include East Jerusalem as part of the Palestinian state.
Jordan is also invested in East Jerusalem as it has preserved many Muslim and Christian holy sites. Despite Israel control over Jerusalem’s walled Old City, the site has been home to three different religions for hundreds of years, Muslims, Christians, and Jews all consider it a special place for the devout.
Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, the King of Jordan since 1999 has also publicly denounced Trump’s actions concerning Jerusalem but agreed to meet with his envoys for further talks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not willing to concede Jersuelame and refuses to believe in a two-state solution for the city.
On Monday, Israel’s prime minister traveled to Jordan to meet with the king for a surprise meeting, where he told him that Israel is committed to keeping Jerusalem all for Israel.
The king of Jordan, in turn, told the prime minister that Jeruslame must be on the negotiation cards if an Israeli- Palestinian solution is to be reached, he also said that East Jerusalem should not be contested and that it needs to be rightfully given to Palestine.
Palestine’s fear is that Trump’s peace plan will leave them with a mini-state allocating large parts of their land for Israel’s ever-growing settlements. Abbas, the president of Palestine has declared that he would reject Trump’s peace plan before it has even been officially released, because of its biased support of Israel. Since Trump took office the U.S. and Israel have been growing ever cozier, making them each other’s top allies.