Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Israel, Palestinians Gear Up for Trump Visit

US President Donald Trump speaks during the Arabic Islamic American Summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh Israel, Palestinians Gear Up for Trump Visit
Francis Olson | 23 May, 2017, 09:10

She claimed little knowledge of what precisely happened during the row but had no problem adding "I know that they're trying to fix it and get that taken care of, but we've always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel".

Most of the West Bank is entirely under Israeli control and Palestinians face extremely long odds in being granted building permits in those areas, while Israeli settlement building has meanwhile continued.

On Tuesday, he visits Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

In February, Netanyahu asked Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

That stunned the Palestinians but delighted Netanyahu, who heads a right-wing coalition with pro-settler parties that strongly oppose a Palestinian state.

Trump is also scheduled to meet with Netanyahu and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall.

One possible factor: the absence of a firm decision as to whether he will move the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as promised.

During his visit, President Trump should make clear, consistent with his efforts to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace, that he will fulfill his promise and begin the process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump Hopeful on Peace in Israel
Trump's visit to Israel began with a lighthearted moment. "We have travelled here to see the church", he said on Monday morning. But obstacles have emerged that may complicate the relationship between the White House and the Knesset.

According to Charisma News, it cited the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called on the government to transfer the U.S. Embassy there by May 31, 1999.

If Netanyahu hoped to score points by having Trump go against established protocol surrounding the Western Wall, he was disappointed, said Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator who is president of the nonprofit U.S./Middle East Project. Israeli officials were furious and demanded an explanation from the White House, which later clarified that the diplomat's comments do not reflect official policy.

Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire to bring about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and claimed that coming to a peace agreement is "not as hard as people have thought over the years".

Controversy precedes the USA president on his stop in Israel as well, following Trumps alleged disclosure of Israeli intelligence to Russian officials.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian official close to Abbas, said Trump was a "serious president" who "seeks to have a real deal, not just managing the conflict".

"If the whole hotel blows up the suite will come down in one piece, so maybe a few broken bones, but they will be alive", said Ritz.

While Netanyahu in the past has expressed support for the establishment of a Palestinian state, he has been vague about this goal since Trump gained power.

The veteran Israeli and Palestinian negotiator says she is optimistic about President Donald Trump's latest Mideast bid.

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