US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan offers “the last chance for Palestinians” in their quest for statehood, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
“This is the first time that Israel has ever agreed to a Palestinian state and it’s the first time Israel has agreed to a map so this is an amazing opportunity for the Palestinian leadership,” Kushner said.
“If they truly want to create a good opportunity for their people, they’d be wise to pursue it.”
Kushner, who is also Trump’s son-in-law, made the comments shortly after the US president unveiled the long-delayed plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinian leaders from rival factions called the deal dead on arrival, rejecting it as an attempt by the US and Israel to “finish off the Palestinian cause”.
The plan recognises Israeli sovereignty over major illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, something which the Palestinian leadership has repeatedly rejected.
“Under this plan, what we’ve done is we’ve capped the growth of the Israeli settlements for four years,” said Kushner, who is the initiative’s principal author.
“There’s never been a four-year freeze before. Israel has agreed to do that in exchange for us recognising those settlements … the reality is that those settlements are never going to be uprooted.
“We are willing to recognise the reality of the map. This is, if there’s ever going to be a two-state solution, I believe that this is the only map that can work,” he said, adding that there may be some leeway with regard to some border demarcations.
“The Palestinian Authority would rather go and complain as opposed to come to the table and negotiate which quite frankly shows that they are not ready to have a state.”