Celebrations And Protests Erupt On 50th Anniversary Of Jerusalem Reunification

Cheryl Sanders
May 25, 2017

In his White House meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in early May, Trump said he looked to "prove wrong" those who said peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the toughest deal to broker.

U.S. President Donald Trump visited Jerusalem and the Western Wall on Monday as he sought ways to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace, but also used the opportunity to again lash out at Iran.

Carefully navigating the precarious nature of Jerusalem in global politics, Trump declined an offer from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accompany him on his visit to the holy site. Mr Trump has said Israeli settlement construction in the occupied territory "may not be helpful" to Israeli-Palestinian peace but has never called for an outright freeze on Israeli building in the occupied West Bank.

The premier also touched on the subject of a so-far elusive regional peace.

"We want to work with honest intentions to achieve peace", Trump said, adding that both sides have promised to seek a peace deal.

"He did not weigh in Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem or even whether the US would continue to insist on a two-state solution giving the Palestinians sovereign territory".

U.S. President Donald Trump insisted both Palestinian and Israeli leaders are keen on reaching a peace deal, during his final speech after a two-day visit on Tuesday.

Trump arrived in Bethlehem in a motorcade, crossing a checkpoint at Israel's controversial separation wall, and was greeted by Abbas and other dignitaries outside the presidential palace, The Washington Examiner reported.

"We must drive out the terrorists and the extremists from our midsts, obliterate this evil ideology and protect and defend our citizens and people of the world", Mr. Trump said at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

"I'm telling you, that's what I do, that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Trump said, adding "My friend Benjamin, he is ready for peace, he is reaching for peace", referring to Netanyahu.

But the reality remains that both sides are stressing different things.

After meeting with Abbas, Trump will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, where he will lay a wreath and deliver brief remarks. Such coordination is controversial among Palestinians who see it as protecting Israelis at Palestinians' expense.

Notably, the USA president did not speak of an independent Palestinian state next to Israel, but instead talked about improving the Palestinian economy and strengthening counter-terrorism efforts - a possible reference to Israeli and Palestinian security coordination.

He stressed that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was not between religions.

He made no mention of the two-state solution supported by his predecessor Barack Obama. He did not weigh in Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem or even whether the U.S. would continue to insist on a two-state solution giving the Palestinians sovereign territory.

On Monday, when Netanyahu spoke about possible negotiations with Abbas, he did so in broad terms.

A longtime businessman, Mr Trump has cast Middle East peace as the "ultimate deal" and has tasked his son-in-law Jared Kushner and former real estate lawyer Jason Greenblatt with charting a course forward.

Trump is expressing worry about the menace posed by Iran, which he accuses of fuelling the fires of sectarian conflict and terror, and believes that this threat will bring together the region's countries convinced of the need to check Tehran.

Other reports by iNewsToday