Trump meets with Abbas in Bethlehem

The visit to the Western Wall drew controversy before Trump even left Washington, when U.S. officials declined to say whether it belonged to Israel.

Only 56 percent of Israeli Jews consider Trump to be pro-Israel, a decline from the 79 percent who felt that way before the inauguration, according to a recent Jerusalem Post poll. "King Salman feels very strongly and, I can tell you, would love to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians".

He says "that would be an incredible accomplishment".

And on the eve of Trump's visit, an Israeli official said Netanyahu's cabinet has approved confidence building measures with the Palestinians, including allowing building in a West Bank area.

"We want Israel to have peace", said Trump.

Abbas and Trump both affirmed their support to finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Trump has spoken of his self-described deal-making prowess in declaring that the "ultimate deal" is possible, vowing "we will get it done".

"I think the president has indicated he's willing to put his own personal efforts into this, if the Israelis and the Palestinian leadership are ready to be serious about engaging as well", he said. He says that "our main problem is with the occupation and settlements".

He also pointed out that there are several hundred detainees in Israeli jails who are on an open ended hunger strike, and urged Israel to end their suffering.

On my first overseas trip as president, I have come to this sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the State of Israel.

Manchester police say one individual who died in the explosion was behind the attack, using an improvised explosive device.

"I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack, and to the many killed and the families, so many families of the victims", Trump said.

He added that the ideology of those behind the attack must be "obliterated".

Fresh off a remarkably warm reception in Saudi Arabia, Trump arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport and walked a red-carpeted gauntlet of Israeli dignitaries there to greet him.

Israel considers the entire city to be its capital while the worldwide community says the future of east Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinians, must be resolved through negotiations. In a pointed departure from his predecessor, Trump all but promised he would not publicly admonish Mideast rulers for human rights violations and oppressive reigns.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and President Donald Trump inspect an honor guard in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that freedom and independence of the Palestinian people is the key to peace and stability.

The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967.

Bethlehem is ringed by the barrier on three sides. The issue is so contentious that the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and ruled that Jerusalem-born Americans can't list Israel as their birthplace on their passports.

After his meeting with Abbas, Trump will return to Jerusalem to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and give a speech at the Israel Museum, bringing an end to his two-day stay in the country.

Trump received a warm welcome in Tel Aviv after becoming the first US president to include Israel on his maiden overseas trip. Still, White House officials have downplayed expectations for a significant breakthrough on this trip. He'll then head to Rome for a meeting Wednesday at the Vatican with Pope Francis.

Welcoming the United States president, Netanyahu noted "the forceful" speech delivered by Trump the previous day in Saudi Arabia, when he "called on all nations to drive out terrorists and extremists".

Mr Trump approached alone and placed his hand on the stone. And he sent a signal of solidarity to an ally he's pushing to work harder toward peace with the Palestinians.

As Trump passed, the never-shy Hazan whipped out his cellphone and suggested a selfie to Trump, television footage showed.

  • Leroy Wright