Trump in Jerusalem: Peace 'one of the toughest deals'

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24 May, 2017

President Donald Trump's flight from Riyadh to Tel Aviv may make history as the first direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace, but we can only get there working together".

The president is scheduled to give a speech at the Israel Museum before departing Tuesday afternoon for Rome, the third stop on a whirlwind five-stop journey through the Middle East and Europe. He called Trump's visit to the Western Wall particularly noteworthy given Obama's decision not to veto the "stupidest United Nations resolution ever", which declared that the site is not part of Israel. "I can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Trump said.

Speaking to a group of Israelis in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday, Trump said he is "personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement".

"Instead of saying thank you to the United States, they now feel emboldened", Trump said. "This includes a renewed effort at peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians".

One activist took to the mic to say, "We came to tell you that the one who decides the fate of Palestinian people are the Palestinian refugee camps and not the Americans, the cause of the camps is the cause of all Palestinians", Palestinian news outlet Ma'an reported.

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"Today, this right, ultra-right-wing government has frozen settlement construction and has given Palestinians construction in Area C", Herzog said, referring to recent moves by Netanyahu's conservative governing coalition.

"He's looking for a kind of outside-in approach, first peace between Israel and Sunni Arab states, who have a common enemy in Iran, and that regional peace leading to Israeli-Palestinian peace".

"I repeat again that we must drive out the terrorists and the extremists from our midst, obliterate this evil ideology, and protect and defend our citizens and people of the world", Trump said.

Palestinian activists have also noted that Trump's rhetoric with regard to Israel and Palestine is no different from previous U.S. administrations.

The White House noted that Trump and Netanyahu discussed the current situation in Syria and the need for a political solution to the ongoing conflict in that country.

Trump on Tuesday also visited the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, where he and first lady Melania Trump laid a wreath in honor of concentration camp victims.


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