Next stop for Trump is Israel, in pursuit of 'ultimate deal'

Israel complained that a US representative rejected allowing Israel's prime minister to join Trump for a visit to the Western Wall because it isn't in Israeli territory.

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu tried his utmost to derail the visit, the first by Abbas since 2014. Agha was about to leave Gaza to Jordan via the West Bank to attend a conference on refugees when Hamas told him he can not leave.

President Trump later told the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom, a right-wing media outlet aligned with Netanyahu, that the Western Wall's rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz, would join him on his visit, saying that was "more traditional, but that could change". But who is the rightful owner of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem should be indisputable.

"I hope that President Trump will make progress in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians and that he will bring justice to the Palestinians and alleviation of their long-term - 50-year now - suffering as an occupied territory", Carter told CNN.

Monday, 12:15 pm - President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will be welcomed with full State honors at an official ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport.

"At the end of the day this is not a question of technique or process", says Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States.

But is the remark on the wall's being part of the West Bank contrary to Trump's policies?

Israel was looking for a definitive statement that the Western Wall is in Israel. Trump will use the nation that is home to Islam's holiest site as a backdrop to call for Muslim unity in the fight against terrorism Sunday, as he works to build relationships with Arab leaders.

The official said the administration considers its discussions with the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority to be promising, with the Palestinians, in particular, agreeing to talk without preconditions.

President Trump is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Israel Museum at 2 p.m. It is, after all, the last remaining piece of the Jewish Temple compound, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE, and thus the primary destination for Jews in Israel and around the world to gather for prayer to this day. Facing a June 1 deadline for a decision, Trump is now expected to defer a congressional mandate to move the embassy on grounds that doing so could ignite Arab violence and spoil chances for peace.

Jerusalem is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians as their capital.

Trump has also ruffled feathers by planning a relatively short stop at Israel's Holocaust memorial, a ritual for every American official on their first official visit to the country, former US peace negotiator Martin Indyk noted on Twitter. She said she wasn't sure what happened in the dispute over Trump's trip, adding: "I know that they're trying to fix it and get that taken care of, but we've always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel". "So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is". "I had the opportunity to say some prayers, prayed for of course the health of my family ..." To the rapturous applause of the Jewish audience, Trump denounced the current administration's policy of distancing America from Israel and putting daylight between the two.

The protest was apparently encouraged by recent incidents in which Trump administration personnel including National Security Adviser R.H. McMaster have denied Israeli sovereignty over any portion of Jerusalem despite the president's campaign promises to do the opposite.

Also on Tuesday, another USA official waded into the fray. It is being heralded by Palestinian youth who have never known the prospect of peace through a two-state solution, the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Given the competing claims, the USA and most countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem.

But when Netanyahu discovered that many were planning not to attend, during Sunday's Cabinet meeting, he "was furious", a senior official who attended the meeting said.

  • Leroy Wright