Palestinians Lowball Expectations Ahead of Trump Peace Push

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Kushner, a 36-year-old real estate developer with little experience of worldwide diplomacy or political negotiation, arrived in Israel on Wednesday morning and will spend barely 20 hours on the ground - he leaves shortly after midnight.

Mladenov was delivering the second report on implementation of the resolution adopted by the council in December condemning Israeli settlements as a "flagrant violation" of worldwide law.

Amichai is just part of the problem, of course, with Israel's continued expansion of settlements across the West Bank leaving less and less land for the Palestinian population to ever end up with its own state in.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley has branded the resolution a "terrible mistake" after the previous US administration refrained from using its veto to block the measure.

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the USA push to revive the peace process appeared to be a serious effort.

"Work began today on-site, as I promised, to establish the new settlement", Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter feed, which included a photograph of mechanical equipment digging into a rocky field.

The Amichai settlement in the northern West Bank is earmarked for some 40 families evicted from the wildcat outpost of Amona in February under a high court order that ruled their homes had been built illegally on private Palestinian land.

According to Peace Now, the new settlement's location was "strategic for the fragmentation of the West Bank".

Since 1992, much of the controversy surrounding Israel's settlement construction in the occupied territories has revolved around expanding existing settlements.

"After decades, I have the privilege to be the prime minister to build a new community", he said.

Trump's senior aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner will arrive on Wednesday for meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told Reuters news agency that the ground-breaking was "a grave escalation and an attempt to foil efforts" by the administration of US President Donald Trump to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

More than 600,000 Israeli settlers now live in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, alongside some 2.9 million Palestinians, which critics say makes a two-state agreement highly unlikely.

But Israel has not built a fully fledged new settlement since the 1990s.

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