Top Trump Envoy Heads to Israel After Terror Attacks

Jason Greenblatt will head to Israel to try to end violence, resolve conflicts

Tear gas fumes billow during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces
Tear gas fumes billow during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces / Getty Images
July 23, 2017

Senior Trump administration Israel adviser Jason Greenblatt will head to Israel Sunday evening, just days after violence broke out in Jerusalem and Palestinian terrorists killed several Israeli citizens, according to senior Trump administration officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Greenblatt will head to Israel in a bid to restart the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians, just a day after the Palestinian government and various factions broke all formal ties with Israel.

The move is a response to calls from various U.S. and Israeli factions that have criticized the Trump administration for not doing enough to maintain cordial relations between the sides.

Violence recently broke out on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the site of several Muslim holy sites. Palestinian terrorists killed two Israeli security officials on the Temple Mount last week, prompting increased security measures that only further stoked tensions among the Palestinians.

On Friday, after Palestinian leaders called for a "day of rage" against Israel, a Palestinian terrorist killed three Jews and severely wounded one other in a stabbing attack.

The Trump administration, through Greenblatt, is trying to stem the violence and restart talks between the sides, which had borne fruit in recent weeks with the announcement that Israel would help boost the Palestinian electric supply and engage in a major effort to share water—agreements that were both inked with the help of Trump administration mediation.

One senior Trump administration official told the Free Beacon that Greenblatt’s travel to Israel is meant to help resolve outstanding issues surrounding the Temple Mount. The administration believes that factions on the ground opposing peace talks incited this violence to derail the recent goodwill efforts.

"This is the president's way of issuing American support for the discussions to resolve security issues on the Temple Mount," the official said. "This appalling violence both on the Temple Mount and on this Israeli family is a clear escalation. This is somebody trying to undermine the process."

"This is direct engagement by Trump's representative to address the horrific attack," which the administration official viewed as a potential "game changer." The administration needs "to be directly engaged with parties," the source said.

The latest violence has only undermined recent progress in the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, according to administration sources, who said Greenblatt is aiming to help mitigate tensions and ensure efforts to improve the lives of Palestinians move forward.