Trump confident he’ll make a deal; Palestinians issue demands ahead of visit

Ahead of his first trip abroad as US president, Trump speaks of a “tremendous possibility” for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, while Abbas has already issued his own demands.

In an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, US President Donald Trump expressed certainty of his ability to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“I think there is a great possibility that we will make a deal. … I love the people of Israel, I am working very hard to finally have peace for the people of Israel and the Palestinians. Hopefully that can come about much sooner than anybody has ever projected,” he said.

“There is a tremendous possibility. This is a deal that is good for all,” he added. “We have the right people on it too, with [U.S. Ambassador to Israel] David Friedman and [Special Representative for International Negotiations] Jason Greenblatt.”

Several US leaders have worked hard to finalize a deal, but without success. Trump hasn’t elaborated on his plans or why he believes he can do it.

Israelis Get Conflicting Messages

Not only has he not given details, but the messages coming from his administration have been mixed. Most recently, for instance, the White House released a video promoting the president’s upcoming trip with a map showing Israel within the pre-1967 borders, excluding the Golan Heights, eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Throughout his presidential election campaign, however, and even after winning, he expressed a commitment to Jerusalem as the “eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

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US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley this week reaffirmed her support for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, stating categorically that “the Western Wall is part of Israel,” while US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, asked about the matter, said it would be a “policy decision.”

As for whether Trump intends to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, which he had vowed to do as Republican candidate to the presidency, he refused to elaborate in the interview, saying, “We have some very interesting things in the works, we will be talking about that in the future.”

Neither would he discuss the issue of “settlements” – Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. “I don’t want to comment on that, other than the fact that I truly believe that we will make a deal,” he said.

Who Will Accompany Trump to the Western Wall?

Reports earlier this week indicated that Trump does not want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join him during his visit to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. “No Israeli leaders will join President Trump at the Western Wall,” National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters on Tuesday.

Confronted on this issue in the Israel Hayom interview, the US leader, claiming to have “great respect and friendship for Netanyahu,” said that going to the holy site “with the rabbi is more traditional, but that could change.”

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Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas reportedly issued his own demands ahead of Trump’s visit. These include projects to stimulate the economy and infrastructure improvements such as an airport in PA-administered territory in Samaria, the construction of a new power-distribution facility in northern Samaria, a cement factory in Bethlehem and resort hotels on the Dead Sea.

By: World Israel News Staff