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Trump greeted with selfies and politics on arrival in Israel

Trump greeted with selfies and politics on arrival in Israel

Mr Trump, who is making his first visit to Israel as U.S. president, said: "I never mentioned the word or the name Israel in that conversation".

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's not easy.

On the other hand, if people like Jerry Falwell and Donald Trump are so pro-Israel, that stance must be suspect somehow to professional lefties.

On the second leg of his Middle East trip after visiting Saudi Arabia, Trump also made a visit to the Western Wall in East Jerusalem. He's a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayu's Likud party, but has been shunned.

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel told AFP he was not aware of any flight taking that course before. As this fine analysis by Ishaan Tharoor explains, Trump is bound to be disappointed in his quest to broker a peace deal, not least because his buddy Netanyahu's interests are served just as well by keeping the status quo.

Trump's visit to Jerusalem has been laden with religious symbolism. He did not way in Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem or even whether the US would continue to insist on a two-state solution giving the Palestinians sovereign territory. If negotiations were to resume, they needed to be about the core issues, not talks about talks, he said.




While several small groups of Palestinians protests against the USA leaders visit demanding his intervention on the issue of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners, banners hailing the American President as "Man of Peace" were also seen around the city. He says that "our main problem is with the occupation and settlements".

Trump also expressed optimism that he can help facilitate peace between Israel and Palestinians. More than a decade ago, Israel built a separation barrier in the West Bank, saying it is a defense against Palestinian militants who carried out deadly attacks.

The president is in the midst of a five-stop foreign trip that will also take him to the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis, Brussels and Sicily. After welcoming remarks by Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Trump took the podium and said his visit to the region is a "rare opportunity" to bring peace and stability. Washington has never recognised Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Old City seized in the 1967 war. In Bethlehem, demonstrators in support of the hunger strikers gathered in Manger Square, opposite the Church of the Nativity, which President Trump is scheduled to visit later in the day.

In his comments to Netanyahu, Trump mentioned a growing Iranian influence in conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, where it either backs Shi'ite fighters or has sent its own forces.

He also faces mounting difficulties at home, where he is struggling to contain a scandal after firing James Comey as FBI director two weeks ago, and a widening investigation into his administration's connections to Russian Federation.

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