Trump delegation meets with Palestinian and Israeli officials on resuming peace negotiations

Meetings with PA held on Tuesday, with Israeli officials held Wednesday; PA claims US asked Israel to “restrict” settlement growth, Israel denies reports

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The Trump Administration’s Middle East delegation met with Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah and Israeli officials in Jerusalem through out the week, the meetings centered on resuming peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

On Tuesday, President Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador David Friedman met with senior Palestinian official and head negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, Saeb Erekat, PA Intelligence Chief Majid Faraj and Head of the Palestinian Fund, Mohammed Mustafa.

The meeting focused on main topics for negotiations, including Jerusalem, security, borders, settlements, energy, water and Palestinian refugees.

According to reports following the meeting, the Trump Administration intends for peace talks to resume soon. In a press release from the White House, the delegation has an “open, cordial, and frank discussion on many topics related to peace negotiations. The [American] administration believes that in order to give everyone the best chance to reach an ultimate deal, it is critical to have negotiators that are close with the president and that is why the team includes senior adviser Jared Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman.”

Erekat reported that the United States told Israel to restrict its settlement expansion, Erekat stating after their meeting “they told Netanyahu that restricting settlement construction is necessary”. Israel denied these reports on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Greenblatt and Friedman in Jerusalem, the meeting centered on reaching a “conflict-ending peace agreement” between both sides, as well as “the Trump Administration’s interest in improving the economic environment for Palestinian business community, including Gaza,” according to the US Consulate in Jerusalem.