Manchester bombing: Trump calls attacker a 'loser'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and President Donald Trump more indirectly, called on the Palestinian Authority Tuesday to cease its policy of paying terrorists who kill Israelis and supporting their families.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday condemned a deadly attack at a pop concert in Manchester, England as the act of "evil losers" and called on nations to band together to fight terrorism.

"So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers", Trump said after meeting Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

In Tehran on Monday, Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani ridiculed United States strategy in the Middle East, dismissing Trump's summit with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia as "just a show".

"I had a meeting this morning with [President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud] Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Mr Trump said in Jerusalem, before turning to gesture towards Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.

Indeed, East Jerusalem is in many ways a microcosm of the occupation in general, with large, heavily subsidized and fortified Jewish-only settlements scattered around Palestinian neighborhoods, whose residents are always either protesting their mistreatment or being cracked down upon for protesting their mistreatment too loudly.

As such, the billionaire-turned-politician is making it very obvious, through this week's Middle East visit, that he is siding with Iran's regional competitors: Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Trump also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre while in Jerusalem, which is located on the site where many Christians believe Jesus's body lay before His resurrection.

"I told them that this is the closest place you can be today to pray to God, and hopefully God will accept your prayer", she said.

Hossam Zomlot, an aide to Abbas, said that "if President Trump wants to mediate and leads us to a historic agreement, a major agreement, we are ready to be his partners".

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said Trump's speech "was an expression of deep friendship to Israel and a fresh way of thinking", particularly with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump held talks with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and with Abbas in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

He said he was "truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bringing new hope the region and its people".

He added, "First the two-state solution must exist and be implemented".

He has since said the move was still being looked at.

"If this thing is to get traction and to have real credibility, somebody is going to have to be the public and private face of this negotiation", said Aaron David Miller, who has advised Republican and Democratic US secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli talks.

But Trump did not invite, nor was he accompanied by, any Israeli political leaders during the visit to the wall, clearly out of concern of offending Arab Muslims.

Every American president has tried it and there's a reason why it doesn't happen.

He became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site in the Israeli-annexed east of the city. The holy city is contested by both sides as their capital.

  • Leroy Wright