Palestinians, Israel police clash at Jerusalem Old City gate

by Garry Watts May 26, 2017, 13:10

Mr Trump started his tour of the Middle East and Europe in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. That approach - and the diplomacy and nuclear accord it spawned - did little to endear Obama to leaders in Saudi Arabia or Israel.

"We always saw press conferences as part of our objective: to send the message in countries without a free press, or with limitations on freedom of speech that the United States valued these sometimes-unpredictable interactions as a part of democracy", Psaki said. "Making peace, however, will not be easy". And several were gleeful that Trump pointedly avoided referring to a two-state solution that most of the prime minister's allies oppose.

"I had a great meeting this morning with President Mahmoud Abbas and I can tell you that he is ready to reach a peace deal".

Much is being made about US First Lady Melania Trump swiping away the hand of her husband, President Donald Trump, during their first foreign trip overseas.

In what may concern peace advocates, he did not specifically mention the two-state solution, long the focus of worldwide efforts and US Middle East diplomacy.

The Palestinians, for their part, see it as the beginning of the occupation of East Jerusalem.

Member of the PFLP's politburo Kayid al-Ghoul told Ma'an that the rally reflected the group's support for the demands of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners and firm solidarity with their plight, as well as opposition to Trump's policies, which he said were "predictably in support of Israel's conditions for the so-called peace process".

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Instead, he appears keen to build confidence and assure Netanyahu and Abbas of wider Arab support in the region for peace moves, in the hope they might see fit to take steps and negotiate themselves. If a regional peace initiative does begin to crystallize, he said, "Israel will have to pay a price, a painful, harsh compromise".

On Tuesday, anti-Trump protests raged on in the small Palestinian territory. "Because if the attacker had been Palestinian and the victims had been Israeli children, the suicide bomber's family would have received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority".

JERUSALEM-Mayor Nir Barkat of Jerusalem paid a visit to the home of Rabbi Adin Even-Israel (Steinsaltz) on Monday afternoon to present the renowned scholar and author with the Yakir Yerushalayim (Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem) medal, which would be presented later that evening to 11 other recipients at a ceremony at the Tower of David in Jerusalem's Old City.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem and the contested Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

In effect, it would offer Israel recognition by the Arab world and the "normalisation" of relations in exchange for a full withdrawal from the territory Israel has occupied since the June 1967 Middle East war, including East Jerusalem. However, the move has not been recognized by the worldwide community. It dates back to the Arab Peace Initiative, first presented by the League of Arab States in 2002, and is based on the promise that the Arab states will normalize their relations with Israel once the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.

The status of Jerusalem, which both the Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital is a major complication to a solution.


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