Israel police: Palestinian assailant stabs Israeli officer

At the same time, Abbas and the Palestinians have been pleasantly surprised by their dealings with Trump.

Over the first four months of 2017, the United States trade deficit with Israel has narrowed, to $2.8 billion from $3.3 billion in the same period previous year, mainly due to higher USA exports to Israel. The talks came with hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails on hunger strike since April 17, which Abbas referred to in his remarks after meeting Trump.

For instance, the Israeli leader on Monday complemented Trump for his tough stance on Iran during his Middle East swing, saying it would "help reconciliation between israel and the Palestinians".

But Trump, on his second stop of a three-country tour highlighting the world's three largest monotheistic religions, is continuing to ramp up expectations, expressing optimism that a peace deal can finally be brokered to end the almost 70-year-old conflict and even suggesting a resolution may not be so hard to obtain after all.

The US President changed plans at the last minute, reportedly infuriating the Palestinian Authority by breaking with official protocol.

Starting in Saudi Arabia and moving on to Jerusalem, Trump shows he grasps the region better than his oh-so-nuanced predecessor. Both he and Trump wore black kippahs as a mark of respect.

"We can not stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people and in today's attack it was mostly innocent children", Trump said. Trump arrived in Bethlehem by motorcade, crossing a checkpoint at Israel's controversial separation wall, and was greeted by Abbas and other dignitaries outside the city's presidential palace. On Tuesday, Trump has talks scheduled with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wave at the Israel museum in Jerusalem Tuesday

"President Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same".

Mr Abbas said he was keen to "keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbours". He then moved on to address efforts towards Middle East peace.

Donald Trump made the short trip from Jerusalem to Bethlehem Tuesday to meet Mahmud Abbas, who was hoping to convince the unpredictable USA president to remain committed to an independent Palestinian state. Noting that Trump's visit to the Western Wall was even shorter yet still powerful, chairman of Yad Vashem Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said the visit, expected to take about half an hour, was enough to make a lasting impression.

"We hope history will record that President Trump is the one who has achieved peace", he said.

On Monday, more than 20 Palestinians were injured in the West Bank during clashes with Israeli forces as they protested in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners.

In this newfound amity, Trump, ever the dealmaker, sees the potential for "the ultimate deal" - peace between Israel and the Arabs.

"I make this promise to you: My administration will always stand with Israel", he said.

  • Zachary Reyes