Questions about Russian Federation chase Trump during first Israel visit

Israel marks 50 years of 'united Jerusalem', but city struggles

Israel marks 50 years of 'united Jerusalem', but city struggles

US President Donald Trump began his first visit to Israel yesterday, saying he sees growing recognition among Muslim nations that they share a "common cause" with Israel in their determination to counter the threats posed by Iran.

Arriving from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trump expressed his hope for cooperation among US allies in the Middle East. Israel was his second stop on a nine-day tour aimed to test the waters for reviving the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Take a look at the trip's highlights. Trump has also retreated from a campaign pledge to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, bending to the same diplomatic and security concerns as other presidents who have made similar promises.

At the same time, Abbas and the Palestinians have been pleasantly surprised by their dealings with Trump.

To get to Bethlehem, Trump's motorcade passed through an opening in Israel's towering separation barrier, a visual reminder of the complexities of the conflict in the region.

Abbas said he was keen to "keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbors".

President Donald Trump on Tuesday solemnly paid tribute to the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, calling on the world to never forget "history's darkest hour".

On Tuesday, a senior White House official who gave a press briefing aboard Air Force One en route from Israel to Italy told reporters that the United States was working on building strong relationships in the Middle East between Israel and its Arab neighbors that will build momentum for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. More than 20 people were killed by an apparent suicide bomber. His wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son- in-law Jared Kushner accompanied him. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Monday blast, which also left 59 people wounded, though a top American intelligence official said the claim could not be verified.

"So many young, attractive innocent people living and enjoying their lives, murdered by evil losers in life", Trump said, echoing the theme he presented during his meetings with Arab leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

White House aides have tried to play down expectations for significant progress on the peace process during Trump's stop, casting it as more symbolic than substantive.

Iran's ruling powers represent the "tip of the spear" of global terrorism, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said in a speech on Sunday during Trump's visit to the kingdom.

In Israel, Mr Trump will meet with President Reuven Rivlin when he gets to Jerusalem before touring Christian and Jewish holy sites in the contested Old City. The U.S. has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Old City seized in the 1967 war. During the Barack Obama era, Iran enjoyed the opportunity to fill the vacuum in the Middle East after the White House abandoned its traditional allies, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaking to reporters onboard Air Force One, said the U.S. could provide clarifications to Israel about the disclosure but said, "I don't know that there's anything to apologize for".

The visit raised questions about whether the US would indicate the site is Israeli territory. "The United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon - never ever - and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias", Trump said.

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