FILE - In this May 18, 2018 file photo, White House adviser Jared Kushner speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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Trump's Mideast team gets close-up view of peace obstaclesOn their current Mideast tour, senior Trump administration officials are getting a close-up view of some of the towering obstacles to their yet to be released blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Blockaded Gaza – a likely focal point of any future U.S.-endorsed Palestinian entity – has been sinking deeper into a humanitarian crisis in recent months, while cross-border violence between Gaza's Hamas and Israel flared again this week.Meanwhile, Hamas rival Mahmoud Abbas, the West Bank-based Palestinian leader, has hardened his rejection of any U.S. proposals, including large-scale Gaza aid projects meant to stabilize the territory.ABBAS' AID OPPOSITIONAbbas is suspicious of any U.S. attempts to promote large-scale infrastructure projects in Gaza.GAZA'S STATUS IN A DEALFor years, Hamas' tight grip on Gaza vexed Mideast mediators.Dan Shapiro, a U.S. ambassador to Israel in the Obama administration, believes the administration must soon spell out its peace plan if it hopes to get Arab states to underwrite large-scale Gaza projects.
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