White House: Trump, Netanyahu pledge to work together to combat terrorism

Jun 03, 2017, 04:21

"This wicked ideology must be obliterated, and I mean completely obliterated".

TRUMP: There are those who present a false choice. "Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed". "We can not stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people", Trump said.

Trump also expressed an even loftier hope than an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement: "I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East, and that would be an awesome accomplishment".

Trump's attitude toward Israel is a sharp departure from his predecessor Barack Obama, who had sometimes tense relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While Trump has spoken frequently in the months since he took office about his desire to achieve what he has dubbed the "ultimate deal", he has not fleshed out any strategy his administration might have towards achieving it.

"Our commitment is to cooperate with you in order to make peace and forge a historic peace deal with the Israelis", Abbas added. They say that we must choose between supporting Israel and supporting Arab and Muslim nations in the region.

"The conflict is not between religions", Mr. Abbas said.

"He did not want to wade into any thorny issues", Estrin said, noting the president did not reference controversial issues like Israeli settlements or his campaign promise to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I like you too", Trump said when the audience quietened.

Barghouthi was convicted in Israeli courts of masterminding the murder of Israeli civilians and sentenced to multiple life terms.

The hunger strikers seek more family visits, access to telephones, medical care, the freedom to study, and cessation of isolation as a punishment.

Other parts of the speech included pledges to defend Israel against common enemies, including Iran.

Palestinians staged a general strike Monday in support of the prisoners.

Trump rebuked Palestinian leaders in a joint press conference with Abbas in Bethlehem, saying, "Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded", referring to stipends the PA pays to terrorists and their families. Trump did not mention the aid or the payments in his public remarks.

The last talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, led by former US Secretary of State John Kerry, broke down in April 2014 after about a year of largely fruitless discussion. He said the Palestinians' "fundamental problem is with occupation and settlements and the failure of Israel to recognize the state of Palestine as we recognize it". After Israel and the Palestinian territories, Trump will head to the Vatican, and to Brussels and Italy for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and G7 meetings.

David Pollock, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, echoed sentiments that Trump's visit to the wall is highly significant.

After mentioning threats to Israel from Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran, he said, "not with Donald J. Trump", drawing enthusiastic applause. The U.S. has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Old City seized in the 1967 war.

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