Trump's First International Trip as President: Saudi Arabia, Israel

Erika Turner
May 25, 2017

"I'm not at peace with the arms race in the Middle East".

Trump's visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory was also met with a widely observed general strike and protests in the occupied West Bank, with a combined message of support for a mass hunger strike under way in Israeli prisons, and also to voice opposition to the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel under USA sponsorship. 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.

Hunger strike solidarity protesters erected a cage with an effigy of a Palestinian prisoner in Bethlehem's Manger Square, chanting: "Trump, listen!"

"You, First Wife, First Family, First Lady Melania Trump, your family and your delegation, you've shown a great commitment to Israel's future and to its security", the Israeli leader said. President Trump talked peace and Iran. And could he succeed where others have failed?

The measures included extending the operating hours of the Allenby Bridge border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, expanding a West Bank industrial zone and allowing Palestinian construction in areas of the West Bank under full Israeli control. "And we are keen to keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbors from all walks of life in order to boost confidence and create a genuine peace opportunity", the Palestinian president told his American counterpart.

"The message was love, love" for Israel, but "it was what he didn't say that mattered", said Michael Oren, a parliamentarian and former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. That omission encouraged Israel's right-wing but it disappointed Palestinians.

Trump visited the Israel Museum and the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center on Tuesday and now heads to Italy and later is expected to meet with Pope Francis. "They are ready to reach for peace".

"I know you've heard it before".

"I am committed to trying to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal".

On Monday, he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a confidant of Netanyahu, said he wasn't surprised by the omissions during the Trump trip. "I look forward to working with these leaders toward a lasting peace", the United States president said.

The Islamic Jihad movement also organized a rally in central Gaza City condemning "Trump's statements against resistance factions", with the group stressing that they completely rejected the USA president's characterization of Hamas as a terrorist organization, raising a banner that said: "Our dignity is our most valuable possession".

Saying he hoped Trump would go down in history as the president who brought peace to Israelis and Palestinians, Abbas said in English; "I extend my hand to you to be your partner in this noble and possible mission".

Other reports by Insurance News

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