Kushner meets with Netanyahu during one-day visit to Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Jared Kushner met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his office in Jerusalem.

Kushner, a senior adviser and son-in-law of U.S. President Donald Trump, is in Israel for a one-day visit to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials in a bid to push Israel and the Palestinians toward renewed peace talks.

“This is an opportunity to pursue our common goals of security, prosperity and peace, and Jared, I welcome you here in that spirit,” Netanyahu said before the start of the Wednesday afternoon meeting,” The Times of Israel reported. “I know of your efforts and the president’s efforts, and I look forward to working with you to reach these common goals.”

Kushner was accompanied to the meeting by the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman; Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East; and Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer.

Earlier Wednesday, Kushner and Friedman visited the family of Hadas Malka, the Israeli border policewoman killed Friday night in co-ordinated terror attacks near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Kushner is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah on Wednesday evening following the Iftar meal breaking the day’s Ramadan fast.

He is reported to be flying out of Israel shortly after midnight Thursday.

Greenblatt arrived in Israel ahead of Kushner on Sunday and met with Netanyahu, Abbas and other officials. He also visited the Malka family as well as the Western Wall.

Reuters reported earlier this week that the White House has been holding behind-the-scene talks since Trump’s visit to the region at the end of May, which reportedly was planned by Kushner.

Unnamed White House officials cited by several news sources reiterated that an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians is a priority for the Trump administration.

Kushner is currently under scrutiny as part of the investigation into whether Trump officials colluded with Russia to sway the outcome of the presidential election.

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