JERUSALEM – Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, met separately on Wednesday with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders during a visit to the Middle East aimed at re-launching the peace process.
Kushner met first with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for three hours.
Trump special envoy Jason Greenblatt, as well as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and chief Israel negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, also participated.
Greenblatt and Kushner then traveled next to Ramallah in the West Bank to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The White House released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the Netanyahu meeting was productive and the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to advancing Trump's goal of a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The statement said Israeli and American officials "underscored that forging peace will take time and the importance of doing everything possible to create an environment conductive to peacemaking."
As Kushner returned to the United States on Wednesday evening, Greenblatt is to remain in the region to continue talks.
Earlier in the day, Kushner paid a visit to the grieving family of Hadas Malka, the 23-year-old border officer murdered last Friday in a shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City by a Palestinian assailant.
Kushner was joined by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
A close friend of the Malka family said to Israeli news website Ynet that Kushner stayed for roughly a half-hour.
“He offered the condolences to the bereaved family from the U.S. president, who spoke to his son-in-law on the way and asked that he be kept updated about the visit,” the friend said.
“[Kushner] said that the president himself asked him to express condolences on behalf of the United States,” the friend reportedly said.