Trump also outlined his administration’s efforts to create new economic opportunities for Palestinians through a “positive, ongoing partnership” between the United States and the PA “on a range of issues“, including private sector development, regional security and counterterrorism.
Trump is reportedly planning to visit the wall in Jerusalem’s Old City and Israel’s Channel Two reported that Israeli officials offering to help plan the event were told by American counterparts it was not their remit. The Palestinian Territories are a mess, but there is little a hypothetical agreement with Israel can do about that.
It was the latest sign of the Israeli right’s growing disenchantment with Trump after having rejoiced in his election.
“Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem would not harm the peace process”, the prime minister said.
Netanyahu vehemently denies the report.
The Prime Minister’s Office also released a summary of a meeting between Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and National Security Advisor-designate Michael Flynn on 16 January.
“The transfer of the American Embassy to Jerusalem not only will not harm the peace process, but the opposite”, Netanyahu said in the statement on Sunday.
Palestinians say moving the embassy would be a de facto recognition of Israel’s control of all Jerusalem.
The Prime Minister’s Office categorically denied a claim by a Fox News correspondent that Netanyahu had asked Trump not to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
The statement, issued in response to earlier remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is the first public disagreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
Immediately after landing in Tel Aviv, Friedman traveled to Jerusalem and visited the Western Wall, praying for the health of his family and for the success of President Trump. “It’s part of the West Bank”, Israeli TV reported today.
A White House press spokeswoman confirmed the President would meet with Abbas but could not immediately provide more information.
Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in 1967.
As CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson was very enthusiastic about his company’s strong relationships with the autocratic monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two countries which also have heavy-handed political interests in the Middle East. Tillerson has met with the Qatari head of state countless times within the past couple of years.
Trump is to begin his first trip overseas as president on May 19, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel (and the West Bank city of Bethlehem), and the Vatican before jetting to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels and the G7 summit in Sicily. But Tillerson linked Trump’s deliberations directly to his aspirations for brokering Mideast peace.