Thursday, August 24, 2017

In the West Bank, Israeli forces raze Palestinian land near Hebron to make space for the expansion of a nearby settlement. The IDF arrest 1 Palestinian during a late-night raid near Bethlehem, and patrol near Hebron and Qalqilya during the day. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinians during raids in the Old City. Approximately 300 Israeli settlers, accompanied by several members of Knesset (MKs), establish a synagogue in Silwan, while Israeli forces cordon off the area, restricting Palestinian movement. (MNA, WAFA 8/24; PCHR 9/1)

U.S. pres. Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner meets with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in the morning in Tel Aviv. He says that Trump is “committed to finding a solution that will bring prosperity and peace” to the region. Netanyahu’s office later says that the meeting was “effective and significant.” No further details are made public. Kushner later discusses the Trump administration’s peace efforts with Palestinian Authority (PA) pres. Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. He reportedly says that the Trump administration is planning to present a peace plan to the Palestinians and Israelis within 3–4 months, and asks Abbas to refrain from unilateral moves in international fora in the meantime. After the meeting, the PA releases a statement: “The PA and the U.S. delegation had a productive meeting focused on how to begin substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Both sides agreed to continue with the U.S.-led conversations as the best way to reach a comprehensive peace deal.” (HA, REU, TOI, WAFA 8/24; MNA, NYT 8/25)