Palestinian official: US Mideast policies ‘irresponsible’

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian official has accused the U.S. administration of pursuing “irresponsible” policies after President Donald Trump’s Mideast adviser defended punitive measures against the Palestinians.

The adviser, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, told The New York Times this week that he believes aid cuts and the closure of the PLO mission in Washington stripped away “false realities” in the Middle East and did not harm chances of advancing an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas halted contacts with the Trump administration in December, after the U.S. recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Kushner did not explain how he could promote a peace deal without Palestinian participation.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh said Friday that Kushner’s statement indicates he is “unaware of the reality of the conflict,” including the history of Jerusalem.

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