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Kushner Threatens To Abandon Gaza Rebuilding Plan Amid Growing Violence

Five months ago, Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, began shifting his focus from brokering a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians to the seemingly easier endeavor of solving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

But now, with a new cycle of violence deterring foreign investors from aiding Gaza, Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, are rethinking their efforts to rebuild Gaza’s economy as a way of opening the door to a broader peace accord, The New York Times reported Sunday.

“Hamas has driven Gaza to a state of desperation,” Kushner said. “Provocations will not be rewarded with aid.”

Hamas leaders, he said, needed to demonstrate “a clear intent for a peaceful relationship with their neighbors” in order for aid and investment money to flow.

Kushner and Greenblatt hinted at this move in pair of opinion articles, for CNN and The Washington Post. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman added his name to both articles, while Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, joined the CNN column as a fourth co-writer. The Trump officials laid the blame for the violence on the Hamas leaders, whom they condemned as “corrupt and hateful.”

Talk of a new Gaza war is another setback for Kushner and Greenblatt, whom Trump charged with negotiating what he has called the “deal of the century.” After nearly 18 months of work, and more than a dozen trips to the Middle East, the timing for the rollout of their peace plan remains uncertain, according to the Times.

“We have the plan ready — mostly ready,” Kushner said, “and when the time is right, we’ll bring it out.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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