Netanyahu Reaffirms Israel's Commitment to Pursue "a Genuine Peace"

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after his arrival for a meeting at the White House.

They discussed the importance of the US-Palestinian partnership in building and sustaining the capacity of Palestinian security forces to counter terrorism, maintaining peace and security for the Palestinians, and continuing strong coordination with the Israeli government to benefit both peoples.

President Donald Trump appeared to rebuke Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at least three times in their joint statement on Wednesday.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson-a key donor to Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-is reportedly increasingly angry about Trump's slow progress on the campaign pledge.

"That's unfortunately not true", he proclaimed.

President Abbas reiterated the strategic importance of the Arab Peace Initiative which was re-adopted in the Arab Summit held in Jordan recently.

He stressed that it is time for Israel to end its 50-year-old occupation of the Palestinian territories.

It's the first direct meeting between Trump and Abbas.

"Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace", Abbas told Trump.

Nabil Sha'ath, a senior foreign policy adviser to Abbas, said during an interview with Israel Radio that Netanyahu's demand was ludicrous. "He's going to continue to have discussions with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Abbas moving forward, and he feels confident about where that relationship was and developments that were made today", he said.

"But I hope that it's possible to achieve a change and to pursue a genuine peace", Netanyahu added. This is something Israel is always ready for, Netanyahu said.

A senior USA official said Tuesday that the issue of payments had been raised in preliminary talks with the Palestinians in Washington.

Palestinian officials had earlier announced that they may accept a US regional solution to the conflict with Israel, but it should be based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which demands a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and the return of refugees in exchange for full Arab normalization with Israel. He told the radio station that the Palestinian prisoners were victims of Israel's control over the West Bank.

  • Larry Hoffman