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Spurred by U.S., Israelis, Palestinians Discuss Economic Cooperation

Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and the Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met on Sunday amid revelations of United States efforts to advance peace talks.

According to Army Radio, Kahlon was joined by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Major General Yoav Mordechai and Majid Faraj, Director of the Palestinian Intelligence Services. PA Finance Minister Shukri Bishara and PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh also attended, according to Palestinian sources.

The meeting is thought to be part of U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt’s initiative to advance economic cooperation between Israel and the PA. Former head of COGAT, Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, said on Army Radio that “a strong economy brings security and vice versa,” adding that U.S. President Donald Trump understands this and is acting wisely.

Politico Magazine reported Sunday that Jared Kushner secretly visited Saudi Arabia last week to promote negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. He was accompanied by Greenblatt and U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell. Kushner returned to the U.S. while Greenblatt held meetings in the region, including with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman yesterday afternoon in Jerusalem.

In related news, several former Israeli members of Knesset from the Parliament of Peace Forum met Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah yesterday evening.

Abbas reportedly said that he would not appoint Hamas ministers to the newly-agreed Palestinian unity government if they refuse to recognize Israel

(via BICOM )
[Photo: BICOM ]