'We know that peace is possible'
- Author: Leroy Wright May 23, 2017,
May 23, 2017, 21:16
Descending the steps of Air Force One with his wife, Melania - and apparently referring to the planning problems that have overshadowed a trip Israeli officials have described privately as "chaotic" - Trump asked the Israeli prime minister: "What is the protocol?" But Trump may face concerns from Israelis over the new $110 billion arms deal he announced during his previous stop in Saudi Arabia as well as questions from Israeli officials about revelations that he disclosed sensitive Israeli intelligence to Russian officials. There are no direct flights between the two countries and flights from either country bypass the other's airspace.
Trump was met by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and president Reuven Rivlin.
Revisiting remarks from his address to Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Trump again called for nations to "drive out" extremists and terrorists from their societies.
Trump has pledged to work with Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a peace agreement. He was apparently taking a jab at Abbas, whose government pays salaries to terrorists and, when they are killed carrying out an attack, to their families.
America and Israel, along with allies in the region, need to begin "facing the threat from the Iranian regime, which is causing so much suffering in the region", the President said. The US President has been widely seen as considerably more supportive of Israel than his predecessor Barack Obama.
"I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process", he said on "Meet the Press".
Trump also made history Monday in becoming the first sitting USA president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka Trump. "But we can only get there working together", he added.
United States officials said the information originated from Israel.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded to Mr Trump's criticism by saying that stability could not be achieved in the Middle East without Teheran's help.
The Palestinian prisoners committee called for a day of rage across the West Bank on Tuesday amid Trump's visit.
Trump advocated during his campaign breaking with decades of precedent and moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, deeply alarming Palestinians.
Earlier, Trump visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where according to Christian tradition Jesus was buried and resurrected.