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22 May 2017

Trump seeks 'ultimate peace deal' during Israel visit

Trump seeks 'ultimate peace deal' during Israel visit

US President Donald Trump is visiting Israel and the Palestine territories where he's expected to push for "the ultimate deal" to end the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict.

Trump will be holding talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during his two-day visit after he concluded a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Unlike his predecessor President Barack Obama, Trump is known to have a more pro-Israel stance.

In context

Trump seeks 'ultimate peace deal' during Israel visit

05 May 2017

Trump meets Palestinian President, vows to broker peace with Israel

On May 5, President Trump said during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House that he would work harder to broker peace between Israel and Palestine.

However, Trump didn't provide any details on how he would break the deadlock and revive long-stalled peace negotiations.

Trump said he was prepared to act as mediator, facilitator or arbitrator between both sides.

15 May 2017

Trump's Middle East visit: Palestine hopes for freeze on settlements

On May 15, Palestinian officials said they hoped that US-led peace talks during President Trump's visit to Israel on May 22 would make the Jewish state stop settlement construction.

The revelation was made by Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, after a meeting with the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan.

Trump had previously expressed his desire to broker an Israel-Palestine peace deal.

US-Israel

Balancing Israel in West Asia: The US challenge

Balancing ties with the Arab world while supporting Israel has been a challenge to US foreign policy.

While the US continues supporting and aiding Arab states to further their policies in the region, Arab states have long been opposed to Israel's very existence.

On the other hand, Israel was long seen as key partner in reigning in Iran's designs for West Asia.

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22 May 2017

Trump seeks 'ultimate peace deal' during Israel visit

US President Donald Trump is visiting Israel and the Palestine territories where he's expected to push for "the ultimate deal" to end the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict.

Trump will be holding talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during his two-day visit after he concluded a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Unlike his predecessor President Barack Obama, Trump is known to have a more pro-Israel stance.

White House downplays expectations of significant Israel-Palestine progress

Trump may seek an "ultimate deal" in the Israel-Palestine issue, but White House aides have played down chances of any significant progress during Trump's trip. They have portrayed Trump's efforts as more symbolic than substantive. Trump has been vague about details of the deal.

Trump's intelligence sharing with Russia, Saudi defense deal irks Israel

Israeli concerns

Trump's intelligence sharing with Russia, Saudi defense deal irks Israel

Trump's visit to Israel comes after it was revealed that he divulged classified intelligence obtained by Israel about ISIS with senior Russian officials, without Israel's permission.

On 20th May, Trump sealed a $110 billion defense deal with Saudi Arabia.

Senior Israeli cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz called Saudi Arabia "a hostile country," adding that the deal was "definitely something that should trouble us."

Explained

US doesn't recognize Israel's claims over Jerusalem

Israel considers the whole of Jerusalem as its capital but the international community, including the US, doesn't accept Israel's sovereignty over the city.

Most countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. Trump had earlier vowed to shift the US embassy to Jerusalem, a move that infuriated Palestinians but delighted Israelis.

This has now been placed on the backburner.

West Wall controversy

Trump's plan to visit Western Wall sparks controversy

Trump is planning to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site for Jews to pray.

This caused outrage in Israel after an American Consulate official said the site, located in Old Jerusalem, isn't in Israeli territory but "part of the [Palestinian] West Bank."

The White House later clarified the official's comments don't reflect official US position.

On Jewish settlements

Would Trump be able to stop expansion of Jewish settlements?

Trump had earlier asked Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to "hold back on settlements for a little bit".

Israel had further conveyed its willingness to make painful concessions for peace, although it might be unwilling to let go of East Jerusalem, making a breakthrough very likely.

Moreover, any agreement is bound to fail without domestic actors including Israeli settlers and Palestinian rejectionist groups on board.

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