Trump calls on Israelis, Palestinians to compromise for peace
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 7:06
"The ties of the Jewish people to this Holy Land are ancient and eternal", Trump said at the Israel Museum.
He added: "I was deeply encouraged by my conversations with Muslim world leaders in Saudi Arabia, including King Salman, who I spoke to at great length. Believe me", he said to a standing ovation.
In his remarks Tuesday morning, Trump called for an end to violence carried out by "terrorists and extremists".
"I've heard it's one of the toughest deals of all". Cue the warm, appreciative rumble of laughter.
Before his meeting with Netanyahu on Monday, Trump visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall, becoming the first sitting United States president to visit the holy Jewish site.
The current Israeli government led by Netanyahu is one of the most conservative in the country's history, and Abbas' hold on power is as tenuous as ever - and mistrust reigns between the two.
'That's Palestinian law. That law must be changed'.
President Trump in remarks Tuesday expressed hope for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. That's what I do.
Trump's Bethlehem visit follows the USA president's meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday in West Jerusalem.
"I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East, and that would be an wonderful accomplishment".
There is also some disappointment on the right of the Israeli political spectrum that Trump has yet to honor his campaign pledge to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
There are some concerns about the scale of the arms deals and other agreements he concluded in Saudi Arabia, and the sway that $380 billion of investments gives the Saudis in Washington. More than 20 people were killed by an apparent suicide bomber.
"Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Trump said.
Netanyahu played down what has appeared to be a violation of an intelligence-sharing agreement with his country, saying U.S.
During the trip, White House aides downplayed hopes any significant progress on reviving the long-stalled peace negotiations can be made, describing the President's first trip to the region as "symbolic". "Jerusalem is a sacred city".
Trump called Jerusalem a "sacred city", but did not follow through on his campaign pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the USA embassy to the city, which Trump called "the eternal capital of the Jewish people" during the campaign.
Trump arrived at the Presidential palace in Bethlehem in the morning after travelling there by vehicle from Jerusalem.
Israelis know no more than Americans about how Trump's presidency will play out from here.
But he came to Jerusalem. "So, we are telling you right now, that Iran will not have nuclear weapons", he said. It was probably better that Kushner was slow to unveil any peace plan, because "if he acted it would be for the sake of Israel", he said.
"This trip is focused on that goal, bringing nations together around the goal of defeating the terrorism that threatens the world and crushing the hateful ideology that drives it so hard and seems to be driving it so fast", he said.
But mutual affection? For now, certainly.
Much of central and southern Jerusalem was shut down to allow the presidential motorcade of around 60 vehicles to make its way from Trump's hotel to the town, just eight km (five miles) to the south.
Trump's speech on Tuesday, delivered at Israel's museum to the Jewish state's culture and history, also stood to reaffirm USA commitment to Israel and hold up Judaism's historical ties to the country.