Trump hopeful on Israeli-Palestinian deal

Trump said Wednesday that the White House is starting a process between the Israelis and Palestinians that "hopefully will lead to peace".

US President Donald Trump vowed to work as a "mediator, an arbitrator or a facilitator" to help broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians as he welcomed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House.

During Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's state visit to DC in February Mr Trump suggested that he is open to the idea of a one-state, rather than two-state, solution to the intractable conflict.

"That's unfortunately not true", he proclaimed.

In fact, in President Trump's opinion, making peace is "something that, I think, is frankly maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years".

"We had planned to meet in Moscow, but he didn't show up", Abbas said, referring to Russian efforts several months ago to set up such a meeting. "But I think our job as a nation is to do everything humanly possible to bring Israel and the Palestinians and the entire Middle East - to the degree that we can - together".

"Our strategic option, our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of two states, a Palestinian state, with its capital of east Jerusalem, that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967", he said.

Samir Awad, a political science professor at Beir Zeit University in the West Bank, said visiting the White House to present Palestinian views and express their readiness for peace "is a good thing". This is something Israel is always ready for. On Wednesday, Ahmad Majdalan, a senior PLO official said in an interview on Israel Radio that in May 2014, Israeli negotiator Yitzchak Molcho, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and USA secretary of state John Kerry signed a document allowing the Palestinians to pay terrorists.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called out Abbas' egregious lie. Trump typically posts about his meetings with foreign leaders on his Twitter account.

According to a White House official, Trump has heeded the calls by Netanyahu and USA lawmakers and will request that Abbas stop payments to families of Palestinian terrorists, reported Haaretz.

Abbas spoke to his American counterpart of the two-state solution, the commitment to peace and security and a better future for Palestinians and Israelis. In addition, leading Republican Senators wrote a letter to President Trump on Tuesday asking he support the Taylor Force Act, a bill which would cut United States funding to the PA if they continue funding terrorism.

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