Donald Trump departs Israel declaring that peace deal is possible

Pauline Gross
May 25, 2017

Mr Trump's visit to Jerusalem has been laden with religious symbolism.

During his meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday and in speeches throughout the day, President Donald Trump notably omitted any mention of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In his appearance with Abbas, Trump made what many took as a reference to Palestinian payments to the families of terrorists.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been the second stop on the US President's first official trip overseas. He also said that he is looking forward to working with those two leaders to achieve sustainable peace and to work with president Abbas on several important issues, such as confronting terrorism and using available capabilities to develop the Palestinian economy.

Before leaving, Trump signed the guest book with a short message in which he gushed about the museum being "so incredible".

Trump is now on his first overseas trip since becoming president of the United States. "The secretary of state has done an incredible job". While speaking to reporters alongside Netanyahu, Trump denied naming Israel as the source of the highly classified intelligence that he gave to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak earlier this month-even though no one has accused Trump of naming Israel directly as the source. It was just one year ago that then-President Obama, seeking a modus vivendi with Tehran, said that America's Gulf allies need to "share the Middle East" with the Iranians.

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"I never mentioned the word or the name Israel", he said in response to a question.

Ahead of the trip, a Trump official got in a heated argument with Israelis after claiming the Kotel was "part of the West Bank". This thaw reflects the growing convergence between Israel and the Sunni states of the Arab world, all who share a view that Iran is the biggest threat to their security and regional stability.

(Photo: Haim Zach/GPO) President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, May 22. He is accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump.

The sentence itself sounded unusual, but the fact that Melania is actually Trump's third wife is what made it cringeworthy.

Meanwhile, ahead of Trump's meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem Monday, a live-streamed White House schedule stated Trump would deliver remarks in "Jerusalem, Israel", apparently recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the holy city despite Trump himself never affirming a change in USA policy. The last talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, led by former USA secretary of state John Kerry, broke down in April 2014 after around a year of largely fruitless discussion.While both Netanyahu and Abbas reiterated during Trump's visit a commitment to peace, both also face domestic constraints on their ability to manoeuvre or compromise. It later corrected his title to president of the Palestinian Authority.

On Tuesday, Trump once again rejected the possibility of Hamas playing a role in any negotiations. This may be fodder for the administration's next misunderstanding: Is Rome the City of Love?

Other reports by GizPress

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