Trump's 'Ultimate Deal' Not Closer After Israel Visit
Trump's 'Ultimate Deal' Not Closer After Israel Visit
Victim of Manchester terror
24 May, 2017, 12:53
DONALD Trump has met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank as the U.S. president seeks to restart peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Abbas also spoke of Palestinian insistence that all "final status issues" be resolved "based on global law" and United Nations resolutions, as well as the Arab Peace Initiative first offered more than a decade ago.
To get to Bethlehem, the location of the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus is said to have been born, Trump passed through an Israeli checkpoint and a network of vast concrete blastwalls that separate the occupied territory from Israel.
Trump's just-concluded visit to Israel saw two historic firsts: it was the first time a newly elected USA president ever included Israel in his first overseas trip, and it was also the first time a US president ever visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
"President Abbas assures me he is ready to work towards that goal in good faith, and Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu has promised the same".
Trump also expressed an even loftier hope than an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement: "I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East, and that would be an awesome accomplishment".
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who spoke ahead of President Trump said that he welcomed Mahmoud Abbas' condemnation of the attack in Manchester, England.
The last talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, led by former US secretary of state John Kerry, broke down in April 2014 after around a year of largely fruitless discussion.
"Our Palestinian people's attainment of their freedom and independence is key to peace and stability in the world", Abbas said.
The city is also surrounded by hilltop Jewish settlements on three sides, built both in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, communities that most of the world considers illegal, though Israel disputes this. "I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it can begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East and that will be an fantastic accomplishment".
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. Mr. President, for 69 years, Israel has been doing precisely that.
That's not just applied to the wall but to East Jerusalem and the old city in general.
While Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its "eternal and indivisible" capital, the Palestinians want the east of the city, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, as the capital of their future state.
It was the final speech of his Israel trip at the Israel Museum where the president really connected with Israelis, scoring a direct bull's eye. "The Arab Peace Initiative stands as is, it is a very generous offer by the Arab world and the Muslim world that Israel will be recognized by the entire region, 57 states", Zumlot told i24NEWS.
Abbas said that he had also drawn Trump's attention to more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for more than a month, led by Marwan Barghouthi, who supporters call the Palestinian Nelson Mandela.
"If peace means Israel can no longer retain their nature as a Jewish state or give up control of Jerusalem, if that's peace - that's not peace, that's not going to happen", Rubio said.
Also of concern for Israelis is Trump's refusal to take on, at least in his public statements, the issue of Palestinian payments to families of terrorists.
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