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Palestinians Say ‘Glass Half Full’ on Jared Kushner as Peace Envoy — for Now

A Palestinian official welcomed Donald Trump’s pick of his son-in-law Jared Kushner as Mideast peace envoy, saying he hoped Kushner, an American Jew whose family donated to settlers, would play fair.

Husam Zomlot, an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told the Jerusalem Post he saw the timing of Kushner’s appointment before Trump even took office as an indication that he will prioritize a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

“It’s a good sign that President- elect Trump early on appointed one of his closest people, his son-in-law, to take this task,” Zomlot said. “We don’t just see the glass half-empty, but also half-full. We see the commitment by President-elect Trump to intervene as early as possible and spend political capital to resolve this issue.”

Zomlot struck an optimistic tone about the prospects for new talks, even as Trump has picked hawkish Israel advocates for top spots in his administration.

Trump’s Israel envoy, bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, is a fundraiser for the Beit El settlement near Ramallah who supports Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to build a state.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com

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