Next stop for Trump is Israel, in pursuit of 'ultimate deal'

Trump lands in Israel pushes Palestinians

U.S. President Donald Trump insisted both Palestinian and Israeli leaders are keen on reaching a peace deal, during his final speech after a two-day visit on Tuesday. "There is no other way".

The president's visit has been overshadowed by his political difficulties at home, namely the fallout over his sacking of Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey. His nine-day trip through the Middle East and Europe ends on Saturday after visits to the Vatican, Brussels and Sicily. Tillerson referred to the visit as "a moment in time" and suggested that the US would take a more active role in the future in brokering a deal if both sides make serious commitments.

Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sarah Netanyahu attend an event marking the 50th anniversary of Israel's capture of East Jerusalem near the Tower of David in Jerusalem May 21, 2017.

"In the right context, the same deflated and passive Abu Mazen could look like Popeye after he eats the spinach", said Novik, now Israel fellow for the New York-based Israel Policy Forum. And I think they see Israel as a country, that would never harm them, a country that would never attack them, but they see Iran as a country that endangers them. "And it's brought a lot of folks together".

Earlier this month, Trump had hosted his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas in the White House, where they both expressed determination to revive the peace process.

Trump, who prides himself as a first-rate dealmaker, has called peace between Israel and the Palestinians the "ultimate deal".

It will be part of his first trip overseas since his inauguration in January.

Trump is expected to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray.

It has been a complex diplomatic balancing act for every US negotiating team in the Middle East as the status of Jerusalem has always been considered the thorniest of so-called "final status" issues that can be decided only in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley declared the site part of Israel, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday dodged. He has since spoken in support of Palestinian "self-determination".

Trump vowed during his election campaign to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognise the disputed city as Israel's capital.

Trump pledged during his presidential campaign to relocate the embassy, telling the pro-Israel lobby group American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2016 that he wanted to "move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem".

On Sunday, Israel authorized some economic concessions to the Palestinians that it said would improve civilian life in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority and were meant to respond to Trump's request for "confidence-building steps".

"America cannot solve all of the world's problems, but we can - and we must - help any nation willing to join in the common cause of eradicating terrorism from the face of the earth", Trump said.

Who will visit the Western Wall with Trump?

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