Israeli joy at Trump visit, but substance lacking

The White House said that in talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday, "President Trump underscored the United States´ ironclad commitment to Israel´s security, including to the maintenance of Israel´s qualitative military edge".

The so-called two-state solution - meaning an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel - has always been the basis of U.S. policy but Trump suggested in February he was no longer wedded to it. The photo of his solemn visit to the Western Wall was splashed across the front pages of Israel's newspapers.

"I've heard its one of the toughest deals of all", Trump said of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, "but I have a feeling we will get there eventually, I hope".

Then Trump went to Israel.

He also commended the importance of the holding of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in the Saudi capital on Sunday.

The teen was injured after Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinians, protesting near the border fence, and burnt tires before the army started firing live rounds on them.

Among Trump's stops on the trip were the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site traditionally regarded as the location of Christ's death, burial and resurrection; the Western Wall, the only portion of the Jewish Temple left standing after its destruction in A.D.

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It was a historic, yet costly battle that claimed the lives of 36 Israelis and 71 Jordanians. "It is between us and occupation". "It was in the forefront of our minds while we were planning the trip that we would have a brief discussion [about the conflict]", said Stephanie Kelman, national vice-chair of JNF's young professionals program, JNFuture. Trump specifically raised the issue of the Palestinian Authority subsidizing the families of Palestinians who were killed attacking Israelis or who are in jail because they attacked Israelis.

While the unpredictable Trump completed the visit to the region without committing a major gaffe, his approach "swept away the entire Obama legacy with the wave of a hand", said Thierry Coville, an Iran expert at the French Institute for worldwide and Strategic Affairs. And their demands are humane and just.

"If he does not keep his promise", said Staver, "it will be a sign of weakness to the enemies of Israel and will embolden them against Israel".

He also expressed optimism about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. "As incoming president, I want to ensure that soldiers, students, and visitors from around the world will all have the opportunity to visit and learn about our history".

By not mentioning the need for an independent Palestinian state in any of his public addresses, nor criticising Israeli settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories, Trump endeared himself to the Israeli right. "That the United States wants to restore a certain balance in its ties with Saudi Arabia, OK, but to put Iran and the I.S. group on the same level is false, illogical and counter-productive", Coville told AFP. President Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith.

Trump's meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, meanwhile, came just a day after he vowed to investigate a leak of intelligence to the American media about this week's deadly bombing at a concert in England.

The Liberty Counsel's Staver said his organization will hold Trump accountable if the president fails to follow through on his pledge.


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