US grants Israel extra defence aid: Netanyahu
- Author: Leroy Wright May 26, 2017,
May 26, 2017, 10:13
But while Trump said earlier this month that he believed brokering peace is "maybe not as hard as people have thought", he measured his comments on Tuesday.
After a video which seemed to show First Lady Melania Trump swatting away the President's attempts to hold her hand while the couple were on the tarmac in Israel, another video from their foreign trip seems to show some skillful hand dodging from the former super model.
Trump says the attack preyed on "innocent children".
The US president used the occasion to also condemn the "evil losers" behind a bomb blast at a pop concert in the British city of Manchester that killed 22 people.
Trump added that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had told him that he was "ready to work towards that goal in good faith" and that he had received a similar reassurance by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace".
"Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded", Mr. Trump said in reference to the Palestinians' practice of paying cash to terrorists or their families for attacks against Israelis.
Security was tight for Trump's journey to Bethlehem, a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem but located across Israel's separation wall.
Noting how Trump did not mention Palestinian statehood or a two-state solution in his public remarks with Abbas, Knesset member Ofir Akunis (Likud) said, "This is a huge achievement, on a historic scale, and a big win for anyone opposed to the mistaken and risky idea of a Palestinian terror state in the heart of Israel".
Still, White House officials had downplayed the prospects for a breakthrough on this trip, saying it was important to manage their ambitions as they wade into terrain that has tripped up more experienced diplomats. Also, he said that freedom for the Palestinians and their independence is the key of peace and stability in the region and in the world.
Solving the Mideast peace riddle is the task of Trump's son-in-law and jack-of-all-trades troubleshooter, Jared Kushner. Trump vowed that the United States would always stand by Israel, and got a standing ovation from the Israeli cabinet, while Netanyahu got up grinning from his seat in the middle of the speech to shake Trump's hand, as if they'd just executed a contract at a vehicle dealership.
The president spoke about signs he's sees that both sides are serious about wanting peace between their peoples.
This would represent a notable gain by Trump in his bid to restart peace talks, as Abbas until now has set preconditions for a return to peace talks, including an Israeli freeze on settlement building.