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Trump’s 7 guidelines for relaunching Israeli-Palestinian talks

Instead of specific terms of reference, US President Donald Trump is reshaping rather vague guideline principles, creating a symmetry between Israeli and Palestinian interests.

Jason Greenblatt, the US presidential envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, has become quite an expert on the intricacies of inter-Arab relations. He has also become much familiar with the most minute details on the agenda of permanent status issues. For instance, he knows the demographic composition of each East Jerusalem neighborhood; he knows which settlement belongs to which settlement bloc for possible land swap; and he knows what kind of intelligence technology the United States could put at the disposal of Israel after an Israel Defense Forces withdrawal from territories in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

A senior PLO official who participated in the talks with the US envoy told Al-Monitor that the Palestinian negotiation team led by the secretary-general of the PLO, Saeb Erekat, is very impressed with Greenblatt's know-how, open mindset and apparent neutrality. According to the official, Greenblatt is assisted by diplomatic personnel from the US Consulate in Jerusalem and its embassy in Tel Aviv. The source noted that Greenblatt is very target oriented and is working diligently for the launch of a regionally backed Israeli-Palestinian peace process in September 2017.

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