Jordan’s King Abdullah II met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday in Amman and said the creation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital was the only way to end the conflict with Israel.
The meeting between Abdullah and Abbas came ahead of the Jordanian king’s upcoming sitdown with the White House’s Mideast adviser, Jared Kushner.
Kushner will be returning to the Middle East this week to promote the Trump administration’s economic peace plan for the Palestinians. He outlined the plan’s ambitious investment and development goals at a conference in Bahrain last month, which was boycotted by the Palestinians.
The US under President Donald Trump has refused to endorse a two-state solution as part of Trump’s undisclosed peace plan, and has slashed aid and support for the Palestinians.
During the meeting, Abbas briefed the Jordanian monarch on the latest developments, including Israel’s demolition of 12 residential buildings in a PA-controlled area on Monday, the PA’s official news site Wafa reported.
Israel on Monday demolished the buildings in an area known as Wadi al-Hummus, which is part of the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher. The area falls just outside of Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and is part of the Palestinian Authority-controlled area of the West Bank.
According to the news site, the two leaders also discussed ways to deal with the Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis, exacerbated after Israel withheld $138 million in key tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians.
Israel decided to halt the transfers to penalize the government for paying stipends to imprisoned terrorists and terror suspects, as well as the families of those killed while committing attacks against Israelis.
Israel says the stipends encourage and offer a direct incentive to commit terror attacks. The Palestinians describe the payments as social welfare to families affected by conflict, and have refused to accept any tax transfers unless the funding is fully restored. To steady its finances, the authority has enacted austerity measures.