Trump arrives in Bethlehem for Abbas meeting

Trump placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall.

Despite requests from Israeli officials, Trump visited the Western Wall without any Israeli government official by his side. In many cases, we look at what he was reacting to and whether what he said was accurate.

Still, Israeli officials weren't exactly comfortable that Trump "spoke incessantly about his meetings in Saudi Arabia and said that the Arab world wants peace". He also said he appreciated Trump's visit to the Western Wall earlier in the day - the first stop at the Jewish holy site ever by a sitting United States commander in chief.

But even as Trump points to a behind the scenes rapprochement between Israel and Arab countries in the Middle East and with his advisers insisting the new U.S. administration is approaching the conflict differently from those that preceded it, the political conditions between Israelis and Palestinians appear largely unchanged.

Hossam Zomlot, an aide to Abbas, said that "if President Trump wants to mediate and leads us to a historic agreement, a major agreement, we are ready to be his partners".

President Donald Trump's first visit to Jerusalem as President is being overshadowed by reminders of tumult back home. He was very moved. "We presented the maps, what was in the past, what's happening now, the excavations, the finds".

Kushner followed his father-in-law to the wall, and later the first lady and Ivanka Trump visited a section where women are allowed to pray.

Barack Obama visited the wall in 2008, but as a candidate during the presidential campaign.

"It was a bad, awful thing for the United States to enter that deal and, believe me, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon, that I can tell you", Trump said to Netanyahu.

Yet it was never alleged that Trump told the Russians that Israel was the source of the intelligence, just that he carelessly handed the information over to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Trump is meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday in the West Bank's biblical city of Bethlehem. Trump will also be visiting the Palestinian territories during his two-day trip in Israel.

  • Larry Hoffman


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