Trump meets Abbas in Bethlehem in an effort to revive peace process

U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday vowed to do "everything I can" to bring peace to the Middle East, echoing sentiments of several of his predecessors who tried and failed to achieve the same goal.

He also neglected to offer any insight into how USA policy would revive the long-dormant peace process.

"Conflict can not continue forever".

"Our Palestinian people's attainment of their freedom and independence is key to peace and stability in the world", he said.

Mr Trump's visit was less enthusiastically welcomed by sections of Palestinian society.

While both Netanyahu and Abbas reiterated during Trump's visit a commitment to peace, both also face domestic constraints on their ability to maneuver or compromise.

Carefully navigating the precarious nature of Jerusalem in worldwide politics, Trump declined an offer from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accompany him on his visit to the holy site.

The protest, which started at Gaza City's Palestine Square, culminated at al-Saraya Square in the center of the city, the location of a tent supporting hunger-striking Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

During his time in the region, part of a nine-day foreign trip that has taken in Saudi Arabia and will be followed by the Vatican, Italy and Belgium, Trump spent barely an hour with the Palestinians.

"Once again we reassert to you our positions", Abbas said elaborating, "accepting the two-state solution along the borders of 1967, a state of Palestine with a capital in East Jerusalem alongside Israel... and resolving longstanding issues based on worldwide law and agreements... in accordance with Arab peace initiative".

First Lady Melania Trump and Sara Netanyahu embrace at Ben Gurion International Airport prior to US President Donald Trump's departure from Israel on May 23, 2017.

"I am confident that under your leadership, the remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States will become ever greater, ever stronger".

"The problem is not between us and Judaism".

"If peace means Israel can no longer retain their nature as a Jewish state or give up control of Jerusalem, if that's peace - that's not peace, that's not going to happen", Rubio said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who spoke ahead of President Trump said that he welcomed Mahmoud Abbas' condemnation of the attack in Manchester, England.

"Making peace will not be easy", Trump said at his main speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, shortly before departing to Europe.

Trump later visited Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, for a wreath laying ceremony.

Welcoming Trump at the airport were members of the Israeli government, each of whom was granted a handshake and short verbal exchange with the U.S. president. "So we are telling you right now that Iran will not have nuclear weapons", he asserted. "Never mentioned the word 'Israel'". The White House said it was Trump's idea to use the term "evil losers".

"I like you too", Trump said when the audience quieted.

  • Salvatore Jensen