Trump envoy Greenblatt prays for peace at Western Wall

Washington's lead international negotiator visits holy site during his four-day trip to push for peace.

June 21, 2017 14:02
2 minute read.

PM Netanyahu Meets with Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt (credit: GPO)

PM Netanyahu Meets with Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt (credit: GPO)


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Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's lead international negotiator, stopped to pray the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Tuesday as part of his four-day visit to push to relaunch the frozen Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"Back at the Kotel for much needed prayer. Inspired by the constant stream of warm wishes for success in bringing peace from others praying," Greenblatt wrote on Twitter alongside a photograph of him at the holy site.

"Today, at the Kotel, I prayed for an end to violence and that we would experience the blessings of peace," he also wrote.

Also on Tuesday, Greenblatt with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with with Yitzhak Molcho, the premier’s top adviser on the Palestinian issue. Greenblatt, who arrived on Monday, also held meetings with Palestinian leaders, tweeting afterward that the purpose was to “further our discussions on how to achieve peace,” without providing details of the talks.

Neither the Prime Minister’s Office nor Greenblatt released any details of their meeting, though it is widely believed that the Trump administration is trying to get Israel, the Palestinians and even some Sunni Arab states to carry out goodwill measures to improve the atmosphere and facilitate a return to the negotiation table.

Israel is being asked to moderate construction in the settlements; the Palestinians are being asked to stop incitement and payments to terrorists and their families; and the Arab states are being asked to take some steps toward normalization of ties with Israel, such as facilitating economic relations and allowing overflights by Israeli civilian aircraft.

Greenblatt met with three senior Palestinian officials in the West Bank on Tuesday.

A senior adviser to Abbas said Greenblatt met with top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, PA General Intelligence chief Majid Faraj, and Palestine Investment Fund chairman Muhammad Mustafa.

The senior adviser said that he was not informed about the details of what was discussed during the meeting.

Erekat and a number of Palestinian officials declined to comment on what was said at the meeting.

Shortly after arriving in Israel, Trump's envoy paid a visit to the family of Israeli Border Police officer Hadas Malka, who was murdered in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Friday.

Greenblatt extended his condolences to the family on behalf of the Trump administration.

"Incident such as this underscore why it is vital to realize President Trump's vision of a Middle East free from the threats of terrorism and extremism," read a statement by Greenblatt following the visit to the mourning family.

Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner arrived in Israel on Wednesday for a one-day visit that was due to include talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Greenblatt was due to leave the country on Thursday.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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