Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 February 2020

Jared Kushner blames Palestinian leader for spike in violence

A spokesperson for Mahmud Abbas blamed the US Middle East peace plan for the recent uptick in violence

Jared Kushner presented the Trump administration's new Middle East peace plan to the UN at a behind closed doors briefing on Thursday. AFP
Jared Kushner presented the Trump administration's new Middle East peace plan to the UN at a behind closed doors briefing on Thursday. AFP

President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner on Thursday blamed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas for a spike in violence in Israel following the unveiling of a new US Middle East peace plan.

Mr Kushner, architect of the controversial proposal that has been rejected by the Palestinians, said Mr Abbas "does have a responsibility" for the escalation in unrest after the unveiling on January 28.

"He calls for days of rage in response and he said that even before he saw the plan," Mr Kushner told reporters after briefing UN Security Council members behind closed doors in New York.

"He rejected the plan before he even saw it,” Mr Kushner continued.

"I think that he was surprised with how good the plan was for the Palestinian people but he locked himself into a position before it came out and I don't know why he did that," he added.

A car-ramming targeting Israeli troops in Jerusalem wounded 14 people Thursday, while two Palestinians were shot dead in clashes in the occupied West Bank.

A third person was killed by Israeli officers inside the Old City in east Jerusalem after firing on police, Israeli officials said.

A spokesman for Mr Abbas blamed President Trump's peace proposal for the unrest.

The Palestinian leader is due to travel to the UN next week to push for a resolution condemning the peace plan.

"There is a long history of the Palestinian leadership paying the families of terrorists, inciting intifadas when they don't get their way," said Mr Kushner.

"I just think the international community has grown very tired of that behaviour," he added.

Mr Kushner described the two-hour-long talks with the Council's 14 other members as "very constructive."

Updated: February 7, 2020 01:54 PM

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