Trump visit seen as long shot to revive Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking

Posted May 29, 2017

An unnamed senior White House official told Bloomberg Politics the move would not be "wise to do it at this time".

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

According to Channel 2 News, some of Trump's closest officials sounded frustrated and furious with Bennett when speaking to their Israeli counterparts.

Then, the president's national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer wouldn't say the Western Wall is in Israel during press briefings - adding fuel to the already fiery headlines and raising concerns about problems between the US and Israel before President Trump even steps foot in Israel. "If anyone is burying the chances for its relocation, it's Bennett".

Trump or any other "mediator" can not expect Israel to make peace with a Palestinian state that rewards the family of any Palestinian who kills or damages an Israeli.

Days of Israeli outrage later, the White House hasn't changed their mind. "The tricky part is where the Palestinians come in on this and where the Israelis comes in on this", Haley said. "Bennett will continue to speak out against it".

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"I am not real sure what happened with that issue", she added.

During the eight years of former President Barack Obama's pro-Palestinian foreign policy, Israelis had to defend their right to access or build settlements in the disputed West Bank - contesting an anti-Israel stance that many pro-Israel conservatives in America hoped was a thing of the past with the onset of the Trump administration. He said: 'Regarding the idea of opening the US Embassy to Jerusalem, I will respond to this in one word: Great'. It is time for the whole world to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of the State of Israel.

Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israeli in 1995, but successive presidents have waived a provision in that law that requires the United States to move the embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Trump remains committed to an embassy move and could reaffirm that without specifying a timeframe, one official said. The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) urged this move in a strategy paper that it delivered to Trump and US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. That distinction between Jerusalem and Israel reflects the USA position that the city's fate is an issue for Israelis and Palestinians to work out through future peace negotiations.

In Saudi Arabia, Trump, who has been outspoken about his mistrust of Muslims and has tried to ban Muslims from entering the US, is set to deliver a speech on Islam before a group of Muslim leaders.

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