Trump pushes for Mideast peace

"From the Palestinian leadership's perspective, I don't think their definition of peace fits within what most of us at least here in Congress and in the United States would define as peace".

Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday he is not optimistic that a major peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians is near, despite recent comments made by President Donald Trump.

The president arrived at the wall Monday afternoon, donning a yarmulke, as is the tradition at Jewish holy sites. "Never mentioned the word 'Israel'".

"As I have repeatedly said, I'm personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement".

Happily so far, Mr Trump has not strayed from official lines, but a moment with wife, Melania, after his arrival in Israel at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport has caught the attention of eagle-eyed observers.

"I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Mr Trump said in a speech toward the end of his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as part of his maiden trip overseas as president.

In Jerusalem, in public remarks after talks with Israeli leaders on the first day of his two-day visit, he again focused on Iran, pledging he would never let Tehran acquire nuclear arms.

"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".

Trump's visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories is part of his first trip overseas as president, and follows an initial leg in Saudi Arabia, where he urged Islamic leaders to confront extremism.

Abbas had sought to convince the unpredictable U.S. president to remain committed to an independent Palestinian state.

"Not with Donald J. Trump", he said.

"I don't know that there's anything to apologize for", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on his way to Israel.

The strike is meant to show support for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel who have been waging a hunger strike for the last 36 days. Or the fact that the US President was walking side by side with the Israeli first couple, leaving Mrs Trump a step behind.

For Jews, the Western Wall, a retaining wall from the biblical Jewish Temple, is revered as the holiest site where Jews can pray.

It later annexed east Jerusalem and claims the entire city as its capital.

Allowing them to do so could have led to accusations that Washington was implicitly recognizing Israel's unilateral claim of sovereignty over the site, which would break with years of U.S. and worldwide precedent. The Palestinians see east Occupied al-Quds as the capital of their future state.

  • Leroy Wright