US envoy to the Middle East Jared Kushner met Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to discuss Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” and the Israeli-led siege of the Gaza Strip, local media have reported. Kushner was joined by America’s envoy to the peace process, Jason Greenblatt, in the meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister.
A White House statement said that the US officials discussed ways that the siege can be alleviated while maintaining Israel’s security. It stressed the Trump administration’s commitment “to advance peace” through the deal.
According to Haaretz, the US envoys are expected to visit a number of Arab states, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, in the efforts to mobilise support for the so-called “deal of the century”. The newspaper reported that they also sought to secure aid for the Gaza Strip to ease its economic crisis, the result of the 12-year Israeli siege, as part of the deal.
Last Sunday, Haaretz political analyst Amos Harel said that Washington has been looking to collect over $500 million from the Gulf States for projects to be carried out in Sinai in order to serve the Gaza Strip. This is believed to include a new port on the North Sinai coast.
The Trump deal apparently proposes that Abu-Dis will be the capital of a future Palestinian state instead of East Jerusalem. The Old City will remain under full Israeli control. In return, Israel will withdraw from three to five Arab neighbourhoods east of Jerusalem.