Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Trump Commits to Peace in the Middle East without Submitting a Road Map

The president assures the Israeli and Palestinian leaders that he will do everything possible to reach an agreement


(Image) Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday in Bethlehem.


After visiting the holy sites of Jerusalem, crossing the wall separating Israelis and Palestinians, and meeting with their respective leaders in just over 24 hours, Donald Trump seems to have come to the conclusion that the "final agreement" Pursuing the Middle East "is not going to be easy" to achieve. Air Force One took off on Tuesday afternoon from Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv to Rome, the next leg of its international tour, without the US president having presented a road map for the resumption of negotiations, paralyzed since three years. After observing closely the checker complex of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he is only committed to "do everything possible to help the parties".

Shortly before embarking on a trip to the Vatican, where he will be received on Wednesday with Pope Francis, the Republican president attempted to summarize his trip in a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. "I have had a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and I can say that he is ready for peace. After a meeting with my good friend Benjamin (Netanyahu), I can also say that he reaches out to peace. But making peace will not be easy, "he told an audience composed mostly of top Israeli officials.

Beyond expressing his personal commitment in the search for an agreement, Trump has left no substantial message as it passes through the Holy Land. He did not mention in his speech the creation of a Palestinian state, nor did he refer to the expansion of Jewish settlements in territories under Israeli occupation for half a century. "Both sides will have to face difficult decisions", pontificó on a conflict with seven decades of antiquity.

The applause came only when the US president guaranteed that threats from Hezbollah from Lebanon and Hamas from the Gaza Strip will not affect Israel under his rule. Trump had already promised Netanyahu the day before that he would prevent Iran from equipping itself with the atomic weapon. "The ties of the Jewish people to this sacred land are ancient and eternal, thousands of years ago ... My Administration will always support Israel," he rioted before a delivered audience.

The former New York property magnate had previously traveled the eight kilometers separating the center of Jerusalem from the city of Bethlehem, cradle of Christianity. There he promised the president of the Palestinian Authority that he will do everything in his power to reach an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. He traveled in a high security caravan formed by dozens of armored vehicles mobilized from the United States for his international tour. After crossing the Israeli checkpoint on the concrete wall of military towers separating the occupied West Bank, a poster in English offered the first greeting: "The city of peace welcomes a man of peace."

The president was received before the muqata, a Palestinian government seat in Bethlehem, at a ceremony attended by security forces as groups of demonstrators with banners from the imprisoned leader of the Second Intifada, Marwan Barguti, asked Trump to mediate to improve the situation. The Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Half a hundred prisoners, out of about 1,000 who have been following a hunger strike against their conditions of detention since last April 17, have been hospitalized in the face of deteriorating health.

Both leaders met for about an hour before appearing in public. The sentences of the attack of Manchester of the previous night opened their respective interventions. Trump threw to the perpetrators of the terrorist attack in the British city the worst curse that conceives of his mentality of successful businessman: "They are evil losers, I will not refer to them like monsters because they could like the term".

"Our fundamental problem is with the occupation, the settlements (of Jewish settlers) and with Israel's refusal to recognize the Palestinian state, not with Judaism," Abbas recalled. The Palestinian raid also failed to give substantial details on the negotiation proposals it had submitted to the US president, apart from the well-known demands of the Palestine Liberation Organization: the settlement of two states at the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as capital.

After being received on Monday in the Holy Land with a general strike in the Palestinian territories in solidarity with the hunger strikers in Israel, several Palestinian organizations called Tuesday a "day of anger". A Palestinian youth was shot dead by Israeli security forces after attempting to stab a policeman in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv.


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