With You We Have Hope: Palestinian President Tells Trump

Posted May 15, 2017

During his meeting with Trump at the White House on Wednesday, Abbas misleadingly stated, "I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace", Abbas claimed. He said he will "do whatever is necessary" to reach a Mideast peace agreement, that he believes that such an agreement will be as hard as people think and that "there's a very, very good chance" of bringing Israel and the Palestinians together. Palestinian officials said after the meeting that Trump had not raised any specific proposals to restart negotiations.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson-a key donor to Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-is reportedly increasingly angry about Trump's slow progress on the campaign pledge.

Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official Nabil Shaath unequivocally rejected President Donald Trump's request to end the PA's policy of paying stipends to Palestinian terrorists and their families, calling the proposal "insane".

That move would likely spark Palestinian fury and is privately seen by many in the Israel and U.S. security establishments as needlessly inflammatory. His comments followed a number of statements from angry right-wing politicians, who were outraged that Abbas could speak of peace while at the same time issuing such payments, which they believe help inspire acts of terrorism against Israelis.

President Donald Trump is moving forward with his plans to broker the ultimate deal: peace in the Middle East.

He blamed the lack of dialogue in recent years on the Israeli government, saying its leaders "have no political vision", and reiterated his demands for an independent Palestinian state along pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Trump says that he'll act as a facilitator, but "any agreement can not be imposed by the United States, or by any other nation".

They said in a joint press conference at the White House that it was important to start a process that will lead to a genuine peace.

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Nasser Lahham, editor-in-chief of Bethlehem-based news site Ma'an News Agency, wrote that Abbas did not bring anything new to the White House in terms of demands.

"We are the only people in the world who remain occupied".

In response to Trump's statements, Abbas said that he believes the US president's ability to negotiate means that the two leaders "can be partners", in bringing about a "historic peace treaty".

US officials said ahead of the meeting that Trump would press Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails.

"I believe that we are capable under your leadership and under your courageous stewardship and your wisdom as well as your great negotiating ability".

"It is something that I think is frankly, maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years", Trump said, exuding his trademark bravado.

But under pressure at home to avoid major concessions, the 82-year-old leader said: "It's about time for Israel to end its occupation", referring to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank. He also accused Abbas of inciting violence.

President Trump highlighted his commitment to enabling meaningful economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which will enhance the prospects for a just and lasting peace.