Trump's son-in-law Kushner begins peace push with Middle East talks

He was referring to the construction of Amichai, which will house some 300 settlers evicted in February from the Amona outpost after Israel's Supreme Court ruled their homes had been built illegally on privately-owned Palestinian land.

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the US push to revive the peace process appeared to be a serious effort.

Since 1992, much of the controversy surrounding Israel's settlement construction in the occupied territories has revolved around expanding existing settlements.

"After decades, I have the privilege to be the prime minister who is building a new community in Judea and Samaria", Netanyahu wrote on Twitter, referring to the biblical names for the West Bank regions. The Palestinians claim these territories for their future independent state.

Ahead of the arrival of the two envoys, the White House urged Israelies and Palestinians to "create an environment conducive to peacemaking".

Regardless of whether a state chooses to support Israel or Palestine, "pitting the two sides against each other is only strengthening the terrorists", she said.

But Israel has continued to provide limited power to Gaza, paid for by the Palestinians, to prevent a humanitarian crisis on its doorstep and out of concern that more instability could lead to renewed fighting.

The Palestinians claim the territory captured by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 war for their future state, a demand that has wide global support.

The prime minister added that there was not, and there would never be, as good a government for the settlements as theirs.

The IDF said the assailant was a 23-years-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Azarya.

Jason Greenblatt, Mr Trump's worldwide envoy, arrived on Monday.

Violence has subsided in recent months but last Friday an Israeli policewoman was stabbed to death in Jerusalem, with three Palestinian assailants shot dead.

According to reports, Kushner conveyed Trump's personal condolences to the Malka family and asked to be briefed on the visit afterwards. He also criticized Abbas for not condemning the attack. "The Palestinian issue is No. 3 on the agenda today", he said, behind security concerns Israel and the Saudis share about Iran and terrorism.

  • Leroy Wright