Palestinian killed upon stabbing attack at Israeli soldiers

Danny Woods
June 24, 2017

Complicating the negotiations, on Tuesday, Israel broke ground for its first West Bank settlement in 25 years. He appears to have backtracked since.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem - land the Palestinians claim for a future state.

Kushner and Trump diplomatic envoy Jason Greenblatt, who accompanied the president to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West Bank last month, are returning to ask Netanyahu and Abbas "about their priorities and potential next steps", the White House said in a statement Sunday.

Some 250 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire during the same period, majority identified as attackers by Israel.

But Israel has not built a fully fledged new settlement since the 1990s. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu even posted a photograph on Twitter of cranes starting to build homes in the new settlement called Amichai.

If the Palestinian assailants are originally from the West Bank, then Gaza-based Hamas "has much deeper roots in the area", The Long War Journal observed.

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Ahead of the arrival of the two envoys, the White House urged Israelies and Palestinians to "create an environment conducive to peacemaking".

"Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the ground-breaking "a grave escalation and an attempt to foil efforts by the American administration to revive negotiations", especially (before) the arrival of the USA envoys". President Donald Trump's son in law and chief Mideast adviser, Jared Kushner, is headed to Jerusalem for his first working visit in hopes of laying the ground work for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. "They are a unsafe actor who has no care for the Palestinians, no care for the Israelis, and they are determined to destroy everything in their path", Haley said.

The Palestinians and the global community consider the settlements obstacles to Palestinian statehood.

Few Israelis can contemplate dividing Jerusalem, and nearly none would entertain Palestinian demands for allowing refugees and their descendants, who now number in the millions, the right to live in Israel.

Trump previously asked Netanyahu during a February visit to the White House to "hold back on settlements for a little bit" amid renewed USA efforts to broker peace in the region. That evening he visited the family of Hadas Malka, 23, who was killed in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday evening as she responded to another Palestinian attack nearby.

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