Skip to main content

Jared Kushner: Gaza could be a valuable 'waterfront property'

The former senior foreign policy adviser under Trump has called for Israel to expel civilians to the Negev desert

Jared Kushner has praised Gaza as a valuable "waterfront property", and called for Israel to remove civilians before it "cleans up" the Strip in an interview at Harvard University on 15 February.

The former property dealer, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former senior adviser said that “Gaza’s waterfront property could be very valuable … if people would focus on building up livelihoods.”

"It’s a little bit of an unfortunate situation there, but from Israel’s perspective I would do my best to move the people out and then clean it up," he said.

“But I don’t think that Israel has stated that they don’t want the people to move back there afterwards."

Kushner added that Israel's priority should be expelling civilians from the southern city of Rafah and "opening up" the Negev desert before moving Palestinians from Gaza on to Egypt "with diplomacy".

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


"I would just bulldoze something in the Negev, I would try to move people in there,” he said. “I think that’s a better option, so you can go in and finish the job.

“I’m sitting in Miami Beach right now,” Kushner said. “And I’m looking at the situation and I’m thinking: what would I do if I was there?”

Kushner was senior foreign policy adviser under Trump and architect of the then US president's Middle East Plan, which included normalisation deals between Israel and several Arab states - the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

The plan outlined ways for Israel to annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including the strategic Jordan Valley, refer to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and deny Palestinians the right to return to their ancestral homes in Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave it "a thousand nos," articulating that Palestinians remained committed to ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a state with Jerusalem as its capital.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.