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Israeli Minister Michael Oren On Trump's Visit To Israel

20 May, 2017, 11:57 | Author: Mae Harvey
  • Trump in Israel says he has new reasons to hope for Middle East peace Posted

Donald Trump will not "provoke" the Palestinians by moving the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the divided city of Jerusalem, according to a White House official.

"I don't know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel", Haley said.

The battle lines have been drawn over whether Trump should make good on his promise to move the American embassy. Abbas has reportedly agreed to engage in talks "without preconditions" with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Trump also hosted at the White House in February. The Israeli prime minister's office said it is seeking clarifications from Trump after an American official said the Western Wall is part of the West Bank.

A man cycles past signs bearing the name of U.S. President-elect Republican Donald Trump in Tel Aviv, Israel November 14, 2016.

During a trip to Saudi Arabia that begins with his arrival in Riyadh on Saturday, Trump will express support for forming a NATO-like force for the Middle East, backed by Gulf states, the official said.

Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to Washington, issued a similar statement, saying: "Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump". The Palestinians see it as the capital of a future independent state.

It was The New York Times that first reported yesterday that Israel was the source of that classified intelligence about ISIS that President Trump allegedly divulged to Russian diplomats.

It's one of the holiest places on earth for Jews and it sits adjacent to one of the holiest places in the world for Muslims, the al Aqsa Mosque compound. "On the contrary, it would advance it by correcting an historical injustice and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel".

The senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Trump remains committed to his campaign pledge to ultimately relocate the US embassy but does not plan to announce such a move while on his trip.

The longstanding USA stance is that the site is in Jerusalem, full stop. The Western Wall is part of the Palestinian territory.

But security experts and retired officials were far more critical, saying Trump had caused huge damage and Israeli intelligence should be careful about sharing information with the U.S. "Trump has not come out and said that settlements are an obstacle to peace; he has not called for a settlement freeze".

Israel's capital is and always will be Jerusalem, regardless of the location of foreign embassies or the resolutions of UNESCO.

Such an embassy, to the contrary, would make a clear US declaration that Israel's place in Jerusalem is non-negotiable, so work on the grand peace deal Trump envisions could concentrate on other issues.

But whether those views are realized or not will depend on the long-range diplomacy Mr. Trump is launching with Israel and major Arab states to shape a lasting agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Trump's stay will last just 26 hours, but that's more than enough time for a misstated word or offhand comment to change the entire tenor of the visit.

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