(JTA) – The Trump administration has rejected as “untrue” an Israeli television report that President Donald Trump requested a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of this month’s United Nations General Assembly.
Channel 2 Hadashot news reported Tuesday, Sept. 4, on the Trump overture through an unnamed third party to reestablish ties with the Palestinians. Abbas reportedly responded that such a meeting could only take place if Trump fired special Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and White House adviser Jared Kushner. “The Channel 2 report that President Trump requested a meeting with President Abbas is untrue,” Garrett Marquis, the U.S. National Security Council spokesperson, said in a statement. Hadashot news stood by its story and noted that World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder has served as an indirect intermediary.
Marquis went on to say: “Rather than engage in personal attacks against Jason Greenblatt or other members of the administration, we continue to hope that the Palestinian Authority will engage with the U.S. positively and constructively to advance our mutual goal of a better future for the Palestinian people.” Abbas stopped talking to the administration after the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Trump angered the Palestinians recently with his decision to cut U.S. funding to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.