Israeli joy at Trump visit, but substance lacking


Abbas considers a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be non-negotiable, and he stressed his position on Tuesday.

Did Donald Trump's whistlestop trip to the region actually achieve anything or was it simply a chance for him to escape the whirlwind of hostile headlines back home and bask in the adoration that a president usually expects during the honeymoon period following his inauguration?

Only in time "we will find out if it all works", Shapiro said. Popular discontent in the West Bank has taken the form of violent protests on behalf of a mass hunger strike of prisoners in Israeli jails that has now gone on for six weeks.

Clashes broke out near a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah involving several hundred stone-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, leaving at least one wounded.

Marking the victory in the 1967 Battle of Jerusalem at the capital's military cemetery, Netanyahu added that while Israel greatly appreciates the USA assistance and support, "history has proven that Israel's security depends on our readiness and our ability to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any threat". In the Gaza Strip, other Palestinians trampled photos of the USA leader. On Tuesday, Trump met with Abbas in Bethlehem, traveling across much of the biblical city.

Trump warned of Iran's escalating presence in the region. "It's a level you don't usually hear from American presidents, though George Bush was pretty good".

"We have very much in common", the president replied.

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.

"No matter where we go we see the signs of Iran in the Middle East", Trump said.

Trump is the only American president who makes a Muslim majority nation and Israel his first overseas trip, which indicates his policy of forming a new Middle East coalition by easing conflicts between Israel and the Arab world so as to rally against Iran's influence in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon.

"I was gratified that President Abbas joined the summit and committed to taking firm but necessary steps to fight terrorism and confront its hateful ideology", he stated.

In what has been interpreted as a swipe at PA incitement, Trump insisted, "Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded".

Yesterday, Mr Trump became the first sitting USA president to visit Jerusalem's Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites.

"The president's belief that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace appears to be based on statements made to him by [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas".

If you're one of those people who looks for clues into the health of the Trumps' marriage, this may provide more fodder. It was the final event during his 27 hours in Israel and the Palestinian territories. "He also mentioned all of the other religions".

The U.S. army invaded Iraq in 2003 and toppled then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, which completely destroyed the country's political system. He also did not mention a future with an Israeli and Palestinian state side by side, nor did he bring up the status of Jerusalem.

It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the global community and claims the entire city as its capital.

Palestine has achieved nationhood from UN but without voting power and it is going to get that too shortly.

Trump is expected to pursue the cause further so that Palestine comes into existence sooner than later.

Trump was due to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday.

Now the ball is in Trump's court.