US envoy meets Netanyahu in Jerusalem to discuss peace plan

The U.S. envoy to the Middle East met with Netanyahu on Friday, days after elections that left the Israeli leader’s political future in doubt.

By Associated Press

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jason Greenblatt, the architect of the Trump administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan.

The Palestinians have already dismissed the plan, a position consistent with the Palestinians historical posture of rejectionism with regard to Israeli peace offers and plans proposed by third party nations.

Greenblatt announced earlier this month that he would be leaving the administration in the coming weeks.

Neither Netanyahu nor Greenblatt delivered public remarks. The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, also attended the meeting.

Netanyahu suffered an apparent setback in Israeli elections this week when he and his allies failed to secure enough seats for a narrow, right-wing majority coalition. The centrist Blue and White party, which won the most seats, has demanded that Netanyahu step aside.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will begin meeting with party leaders on Sunday. After those consultations, he will grant the task of forming the new government to whomever he thinks is most likely to assemble a majority coalition.

Both Netanyahu and the head of Blue and White, former military chief Benny Gantz, have called for a national unity government. But they are split over who should serve as prime minister, and failure to resolve the impasse could trigger an unprecedented third election in less than a year.

The last round of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down back in 2009. The Palestinians cut off all contacts with the White House after it recognized Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, and moved its embassy there.