Netanyahu: hope Trump visit will be 'milestone' for peace

Israel has authorised a few economic measures for the Palestinians that were requested by Donald Trump, hours before the USA president begins a visit in which he hopes to revive peace talks frozen since 2014.

He was not accompanied by any Israeli leaders during the visit.

In public remarks Monday Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that "it will not be simple", but also expressed cautious optimism that "for the first time in many years and the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change". "It's part of the West Bank". "And we are keen to keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbors from all walks of life in order to boost confidence and create a genuine peace opportunity".

President Donald Trump's motorcade is entering biblical Bethlehem in the West Bank, passing through an opening in Israel's towering separation barrier.

He will need to cross Israel's West Bank separation wall, which will eventually extend some 700 kilometers to separate Israel and Palestinian territories. Jewish worshipers are allowed to visit and pray at the wall, and Muslim worshipers are allowed to visit and pray at the mosque.

He stressed that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was not between religions.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem, where the Western Wall is located, and the West Bank in 1967 in moves never recognised by the worldwide community. On the other hand, the vast majority of Palestinians are just as adamant about recognizing Israel.

Greenblatt has quietly done much of the heavy work for the US thus far.

USA -sponsored peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel collapsed in 2014 over the latter's refusal to halt settlement activity in the occupied territories.

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

"The fundamental problem we have here is the definition of peace", Rubio said.

"I don't know that there's anything to apologize for", he said.

On the Israeli side, Netanyahu heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in the country's history, and members of his coalition were elated with Trump's election.

But back in Washington, White House officials didn't stray from past USA policy on the Western Wall.

The argument over the Western Wall is not the only complication to come up while planning Trump's trip to Israel. "That sounds like a policy decision", he told reporters.

Also on Tuesday, another US official waded into the fray. I think many Palestinians want a two-state solution. "We believe Israel is willing".

In fact, the US has never officially recognized the Western Wall as part of Israel.

Trump advocated during his campaign breaking with decades of precedent and moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, deeply alarming Palestinians.

A senior official told the newspaper Haaretz that the moves do not harm Israeli interests and involve only economic and civilian issues.

"Right now there are no plans to do anything in that regard", the official said.

  • Leroy Wright