'US relationship with Israel best we've ever had,' declares Trump

by Garry Watts March 6, 2018, 1:33
'US relationship with Israel best we've ever had,' declares Trump

Trump's plan to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem this year has brought the two leaders closer together, but it has also infuriated Palestinians and was condemned by 128 states in a United Nations General Assembly vote in December.

He said that work on the peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians continued, but he did not have any updates to announce. He also compared the president to the Persian King Cyrus who allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Holy Temple; to Lord Balfour, whose declaration provided United Kingdom support for a Jewish State in the Land of Israel; and to U.S. President Harry Truman, who recognized the State of Israel.

Trump commented during an Oval Office meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu on Monday dismissed news of Hefetz's agreement to testify against him, with sources close to him saying it was merely further proof that the allegations had no meat to them.

"The Palestinians, I think, are wanting to come back to the table", Trump said. There was no apparent evidence for the assertion as the Palestinians aren't even cooperating with USA mediation right now.

There has been little progress, however, on a broader peace deal with the Palestinians, who were dismayed with Trump's decision to move the embassy. "So this gives us a real opportunity for peace". In the meantime, the embassy will be housed in a consular building.

"We're looking at coming". "If I can, I will".

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The new embassy is set to open in May, and Trump says he'll head to Israel for the dedication ceremony "if I can". Eventually, however, that embassy would have to be expanded to accommodate more than a handful of diplomats.

The timetable for transfer of the USA embassy in Israel is uncertain.

Trump said last month that the embassy move from Tel Aviv would take place in May, timed with Israel's 70th anniversary, following his recognition in December that Jerusalem is the capital.

"This will be remembered by our people through the ages", Netanyahu said. Likewise, Netanyahu said that the relationship has "never been stronger" than under Trump.

Donald Trump has raised the prospect of attending the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem - a provocative move that could further inflame tensions in the Middle East. Trump has vowed to pull out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in mid-May unless the US and Europe agree on sanctions that would punish Iran for activity not covered by the accord or, in some cases, would be eventually permitted under its terms. He also said it is promoting de-stabilization in Syria and Lebanon. "Iran must be stopped".

Netanyahu will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, followed by meetings with members of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Police have yet to make a recommendation about charges in the case. During that time, Walla's coverage notably changed to favor the Netanyahu family, and Bezeq was given permission, among other things, to buy the satellite television provider Yes, overriding antitrust issues, and to renege on its commitment to lease out its infrastructure to telecom competitors, so they could provide competing fixed line and internet services.

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