'Peace Is A Choice,' Trump Says During Appearance With Palestinian Leader
Jun 06 2017
In public remarks in the West Bank town of Bethlehem and in Jerusalem, Trump avoided mention of a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict, and made no references to controversial Jewish settlements or to recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
They were joined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, as well as daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who are both White House senior advisers.
"I am committed to trying to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians", Trump told a press conference at PA headquarters in Bethlehem, without mentioning the possibility of Palestinian statehood. The US leader already visited Israel, Saudi Arabia and is heading next to Italy, Belgium and the Vatican.
High-ranking PLFP member Kayid al-Ghoul told Ma'an that the Tuesday rally was staged to condemn Trump's policies towards Palestine, which were "predictably in support of Israel's conditions for the so-called peace process".
Donald Trump's trip to Israel passed by in a flash - after all, the president only stopped in the Jewish state for two days.
Mr Netanyahu has expressed tentative support for parts of the initiative, but there are many caveats on the Israeli side, including how to resolve the ever more complex refugee issue and whether Israel would withdraw from the Golan Heights, strategic territory that Israel took from Syria in the 1967 war.
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 US policy.
US President Donald Trump (L) speaks during a joint statment with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin at the President's House on May 22, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel.
Abbas, who has been politically weakened at home because of the continuing stalemate in peace efforts, appeared to be basking in the attention from an American president following a meeting in Washington earlier this month.
Wearing a black kippah and accompanied by his Jewish son-in-law/senior advisor Jared Kushner, Donald Trump became the first sitting USA president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem earlier this week. The president and Kushner visited one side, while the first daughter and first lady visited a portion of the site reserved for women. He will also visit Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial.
With cooperation, success is possible, and President Trump's trip might be viewed as a watershed event in Middle East history.
Tillerson also said: "The president is very cautious in his attempt to understand how such a decision could affect the peace process".