Trump vows Israel won't be destroyed on his watch

Abbas said his recent visit to the White House, at which Trump likewise promised economic aid, gave "so much hope and optimism of the possibility to make true a dream, a long-awaited dream and ambition, and that is lasting and justice-based peace". Again, we don't know if Donald was reaching for her hand or if Trump knew it was happening and moved her hand because of that.

While both Netanyahu and Abbas have made positive noises about their readiness to negotiate, both also face domestic constraints on their freedom to manoeuvre and strike a deal.

Inside Story: Can Trump solve the Middle East conflict?

But Trump's remarks notably omitted mention of the long-heralded, two-state solution, which has been a consistent policy supported by American governments for the past 30 years.

"Iran calls for the destruction of Israel".

Trump was greeted Tuesday afternoon by a small audience of Israeli lawmakers and guests at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem with an extended standing ovation, and his speech was punctuated by such applause.

Israel has no diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia despite informal ties on certain levels, particularly around shared concerns over Iran.

"We are not talking about any of the substantive issues that would lead us towards a peace deal, not talking about Palestinian sovereignty, statehood, an end of the settlements or an end of the blockade [on Gaza]".

Trump arrived at the Presidential palace in Bethlehem in the morning after travelling there by auto from Jerusalem.

"President Trump, working with you, I believe we can advance a global peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors as well as the Palestinians", Netanyahu said.

"The government of Israel strongly condemns last night's awful terrorist attack in Manchester".

Trump had called the Manchester concert bombing late Monday evening the work of "evil losers", prior to meeting with Abbas and in sending his condolences to the British population. "One needs to seize it, show leadership and boldness, and we will help them". Just as he did not elaborate about the Palestinian right for self-determination, Trump refused to go into the question of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan informed Trump of a possible attack in Tel Aviv that transpired while the president was airborne.

Kushner and Greenblatt had a two-hour breakfast in Washington with Abbas before Abbas met with Trump, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Clashes broke out near a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah involving several hundred stone-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, leaving at least one wounded.

"Over the years, Israel has had many friends, but Israel has never had and will never have a better friend than the United States of America", Netanyahu said. Still, Trump's speech was lauded by Israeli politicians here as one of the most friendly toward Israel from any USA president, and he used the speech to affirm the Jewish bond to Jerusalem and the land of Israel.

  • Larry Hoffman