Trump vows to do everything to achieve Israel-Palestine peace

Cheryl Sanders
May 24, 2017

"You can't just walk in on Day One and sign a deal that no one has gotten done in 35 years", said the official, who under the ground rules of the briefing could not be further identified.

During his time in the region, part of a nine-day foreign trip that has taken in Saudi Arabia and will be followed by the Vatican, Italy and Belgium, Trump spent barely an hour with the Palestinians.

As for follow-up, "The one thing that it probably will be is quiet and discreet", the official said.

A succession of US presidents have attempted to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians, whose modern-day conflict dates to the 1948 establishment of the Jewish state, and all have failed.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday in a speech here capping off his visit to Israel and the West Bank that he believes both Israelis and Palestinian leaders "are ready to reach for peace".

Noting how Trump did not mention Palestinian statehood or a two-state solution in his public remarks with Abbas, Member of Knesset Ofir Akunis (Likud) said, "This is a huge achievement, on a historic scale, and a big win for anyone opposed to the mistaken and unsafe idea of a Palestinian terror state in the heart of Israel".

"Clinton tried, Bush tried, Obama tried". Given that the Trudeau government is reluctant even to speak out against Israel's illegal settlements - condemned by the UN Security Council in December - it is hard to imagine that Trudeau would ever stand up for Palestinian prisoners. Under my administration you see the difference.

Abbas said he was committed to working with Trump to reach a "historic peace deal".

The President is urging the USA and Israel to boost cooperation against common threats, and declaring that Iran never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.

"Not with Donald J. Trump", he said.

"We are telling you right now that Iran will not have nuclear weapons", he added.

Mr Abbas is an unpopular leader, according to polls, and the Palestinian political landscape is split between his Fatah party and Hamas, the Islamist movement that is in control in the Gaza Strip and opposes negotiations with Israel.

"Once again we reassert to you our positions: accepting the two-state solution along the borders of 1967, a state of Palestine with a capital in East Jerusalem alongside Israel... and resolving longstanding issues based on global law and agreements... in accordance with Arab peace initiative", Abbas said.

Speaking at the Israeli presidential residence in Jerusalem in his first stop after arriving, Trump said he and his delegation had "just got back from the Middle East", quickly correcting himself to say Saudi Arabia.

"In my meeting with my very good friend Binyamin [Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister], I can tell you also, that he is reaching for peace". "The president notably avoided all of the thorny issues that have stymied peace efforts for decades", The Associated Press noted.

And in words that resonated well in Israel - which chronically accuses the West Bank Authority for inciting violence and compensating families of those involved in terror attacks - Trump made perhaps his sharpest point of the trip.

But there was little public evidence of prodding by Trump or his aides of either side to make more substantial concessions.

He also urged Israel to comply with "just and human demands" of hundreds of Palestinian hunger strikers now forgoing food for the 37th day in Israeli prisons.

It is fine to want Israel to have peace, but what about the Palestinians? Netanyahu effusively praised Trump before his museum address and sprang to his feet to lead applause for him several times.

He was not accompanied by any Israeli leaders during the visit.

Other reports by iNewsToday