Egypt ready to help Palestinians, assist in peace talks, White House official says


(JTA) — Creating a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians “will take time,” a senior White House official said.

The official reiterated requirements laid out last week by Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the peace process, on a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, namely adhering to the Quartet principles: unambiguously and explicitly committing to nonviolence; recognizing the State of Israel; accepting previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists; and committing to peaceful negotiations.

“All the actions noted above will help pave the way towards a comprehensive peace agreement,” the White House official said.

On Thursday, Greenblatt met in Cairo with senior Egyptian intelligence officials, who brokered the unity deal between the Fatah Party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, the terrorist entity that controls the Gaza Strip. He was scheduled to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials beginning on Sunday.

The official said that during the Cairo meetings Egypt expressed a strong desire to assist the United States’ peace efforts, and indicated its willingness to help improve the welfare of Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.

The United States welcomed those efforts and the two sides agreed to work together, and with the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Jordan and others in the region to help provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinians living in Gaza, the official said.