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Trump son-in-law's family gave money to illegal West Bank settlements

Kushner family foundation has given tens of thousand of dollars to Israeli organisations that represent West Bank settlements
Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, is from an Orthodox Jewish family (Reuters)

The parents of Donald Trump's son-in-law have given tens of thousands of dollars to groups in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to a Haaretz report on Monday.

Tax forms from 2010-2014 on Jared Kushner’s parents show that their fund – the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation – gave $20,000 to the group American Friends in Beit El Yeshive, an organisation that supports programmes in the arch-conservative settlement of Beit El.

Jared Kushner sits on the board of his parents’ foundation.

Haaretz reported in 2009 that Beit El was built on private Palestinian land without approval. In a Peace Now report, 96.85 percent of Beit El’s land is Palestinian property.

The president of the American Friends in Beit El Yeshive is David Friedman, who advised Trump on foreign policy towards Israel and Palestine. Friedman also works as Trump’s real estate lawyer.

Friedman said in October that settlements are not illegal.

US President-elect Donald Trump said in late November that he would "love" to clinch a deal to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians despite the checkered history of successive administrations’ attempts to broker a Middle East peace agreement.

"I would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians, that would be such a great achievement," Trump said in an interview with The New York Times.

A New York Times reporter tweeted that Trump also suggested that his son-in-law Jared Kushner could help broker the deal.

Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, is from an Orthodox Jewish family. The businessman and investor was a close adviser to Trump during the election campaign.

After Trump's 8 November win, Kushner reportedly asked for access to the daily White House security briefings given to his father-in-law.

US State Department policy has long held that Israeli settlements halt peace processes between the Palestinians and Israelis, but Trump’s advisers have dismissed that stance.

The Kushner foundation also donated money to the Etzion Foundation, a group that gives funds to projects in the Gush Etzion settlement. The non-profit organisation also gave $5,000 to Etzion in 2012 and $10,000 in 2013.

It also donated $5,000 to Ohr Torah Stone, an umbrella programme of education projects in Efrat settlement. The founder of Ohr Torah Stone is Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, who congratulated Trump on his victory.

"Trump speaks very differently about Israel and our prime minister and supports the need to transfer the US embassy here to Jerusalem, so I have a lot of hope," Riskin said.

The Kushners have made numerous other contributions to Israeli projects, including groups that support Israel’s military.

According to the Haaretz report, the family foundation also gave money to several Jewish organisations within the US, including $30,000 to groups run by the ultra-orthodox Chabad.

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

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