Tel Aviv – US President Donald Trump’s aides are looking into the possibility of holding a summit between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and US President, according to political sources.
The sources said that Abbas granted his approval for the meeting but Netanyahu hasn’t responded yet.
Abbas said Tuesday that he was prepared to meet and negotiate with Israeli PM as part of Trump’s plan to broker a deal that ends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking to reporters in Ramallah after a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Abbas said: “We told [Trump] that we were ready to collaborate with him and meet the Israeli PM under his auspices to build peace,” adding that: “We told him again of our commitment to a peace based on justice, with international resolutions and the two-state solution as references.”
Diplomat Zalman Shoval, who is close to Netanyahu, stated that Trump wants to keep history in the past and rewrite the scenario, and he should be praised for his intentions.
“Peace between Arabs and Jews is not a myth. There are no diplomatic equations. It is the beginning of tearing down the wall of Palestinians’ hostility that don’t want to accept Jews’ rights and do not agree on finding solutions for primary causes in the struggle,” said Shoval.
He added that one should assume that with time, Trump will reach the conclusion that the solution lays in enhancing temporary and partial deals rather than final and complete ones.
A settlers’ leader of Khalil city wrote an open letter to Trump entitled: “Jerusalem is not Manhattan, No Deal Mr. President” saying there is a fundamental failure in drawing an analogy between a business deal and a political-territorial conflict.
He told Trump that unlike commercial deals, diplomatic deals have many consequences.
The settler said that Palestinians do not conceal their dream to put an end to the State of Israel, “the Zionist entity”, which Trump is fully aware of and criticized his predecessor Barack Obama for compromising-bargaining approach towards the Iranians, Syrian head of regime Basharal-Assad and North Korea.
“The bottom line is that not everything is merchandise in the market. Real estate in Manhattan is not equivalent to the lands of Jerusalem: There, they have the largest market of lands in the world; here, we have the supreme expression of absolute values with a spiritual baggage that cannot be weighed, measured, bought and sold,” he wrote.
He concluded his letter by saying: “In other words: No deal, Mr. President. And Jerusalem is just the gist of the essence of the entire “Holy Land,” and all those who tried to trade in it got their fingers burnt.”
Israeli Leftist Party is planning a march to salute Trump for his efforts. The march is expected to be held few days after Trump’s visit on May 27 in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Peace Now is organizing the march entitled “Two Nations – One Hope” in collaboration with Labor Party, Geneva Initiative, and other organizations.
Officially, joint Israeli and US security team are setting plans to ensure the protection of Trump during his visit scheduled in 10 days.
Senior Israeli official said that teams are checking every detail starting from coffee mugs to the places Trump will be residing in. He added that despite previous bookings, King David Hotel was evacuated.
A hotel official admitted that they don’t have an easy mission.
In addition, on Wednesday a US security team arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport and held meetings with US officials in embassy in Tel Aviv, airport officials, and secret service to coordinate and secure the president’s trip.
On May 22, Trump will land in Israel for his first visit. The visit will last just two days and he will hold several meetings.
A state welcoming ceremony will be held at Ben-Gurion Airport. During the ceremony, speeches will be delivered by Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.