Kushner arrives in Israel tasked with progressing Trump's 'ultimate deal'

Appearing at a press conference with Mr Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Mr Trump declared that the Palestinians are "ready to reach for peace".

Trump and Netanyahu held a series of warm encounters during the USA president's visit here last month, and the administration has been markedly milder in its statements about Israeli settlement expansion than the Obama administration.

Kushner replied: "The president sends his best regards and it's an honour to be here with you".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a new policy earlier this year to curb settlement building in the West Bank, acceding to President Donald Trump's wishes, but Jewish settlement building has continued.

Trump administration officials have said that if they are going to make progress on peace, they do not want to get bogged down in process but to move rapidly on tackling what are known as "final status" issues, the complexities around Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, water resources, security and borders.

However, journalists were prevented from even filming Kushner's arrival at Netanyahu's office.

This month marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War - a seminal event in which Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

According to the White House, Kushner and Greenblatt are now in the Middle East to "continue conversations and hear directly from" Israeli and Palestinian leaders "about their priorities and potential next steps" in the peace process.

For at least two decades, the goal of USA -led diplomacy has been a "two-state solution", meaning an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side and at peace with Israel. Kushner will fly back to the US Wednesday night whereas Greenblatt is scheduled to stay for another day.

According to a Malka family spokesperson, Kushner, who was accompanied by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, spent roughly 30 minutes with her parents during the shiva (week-long family mourning period in Judaism) call.

Kushner is now in Israel on a short visit to help assist in Mideast peace negotiations. Kushner told member's of Malka's family that Trump asked him to personally convey the condolences of the American people.

Kushner, a 36-year-old real estate developer with little experience of worldwide diplomacy or political negotiation, arrived in Israel on Wednesday morning and will spend barely 20 hours on the ground - he leaves shortly after midnight. Police shot three terrorists during the attack.

It was the latest incident in a wave of Palestinian attacks that began in September 2015.

  • Leroy Wright