White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told CNN on Tuesday that he expects more Arab countries to follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in normalizing relations with Israel before Palestinian leadership agrees to a peace deal.
Why it matters:: After hosting a White House signing ceremony on Tuesday that formalized diplomatic ties between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, President Trump told reporters that he expects seven to nine more countries — including possibly Saudi Arabia — to agree to a similar move.
The big picture: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement Tuesday that "no peace, security or stability will be achieved for anyone in the region" without an end to Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
- He also warned that "attempts to bypass" Palestinian leadership will have "serious repercussions" for Israel and the U.S.
- In a major blow last week, the Palestinian Authority failed to get the Arab League's foreign ministers to endorse a resolution criticizing the Israel-UAE deal. For decades, Arab League foreign ministers have endorsed every draft resolution the Palestinians have put forward.
What they're saying: "The Palestinians see that [Trump] has a lot of sway with the Israeli public. Israel trusts President Trump that he knows what their security needs are," Kushner argued.
- "He knows what their bottom lines are. And they do believe that he's the only person that can actually make this deal. But I think that, again, you're not going to make a deal until it's ready. We do believe that before there's a deal with the Palestinians, you are going to have more countries normalize with Israel," he continued.
- "And when the Palestinian leadership decides that they're ready, then that's when a deal can be made. ... We can't want peace more than the Palestinian leadership wants to make peace. So when they're ready to do it, we'll be there to help facilitate it."