Playing the Trump card?
″We will get it done, ″ said U.S. president Donald Trump of a peace deal with Israel during Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' recent visit to Washington. With his businessman's optimism, Trump appeared to reassure the Palestinian leader he is willing to work with both sides to resume peace talks, which last collapsed in 2014.
Trump will visit Israel and the Occupied Territories this week – the president will be in Jerusalem on 22 May and in Bethlehem on 23 May – but expectations that the visit will clarify the new American administration's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are low. A series of contradictory statements since Trump took office have left Palestinians and Israelis alike wondering just what kind of deal the President would put on the table.
A senior White House official told the press that Trump has no plans to bring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas together in a trilateral meeting for the time being.
″It’s just too soon, ″ the official told Israeli newspaper Haaretz, adding that the U.S. president would lay out ″confidence-building measures″ intended to create the right atmosphere for renewing peace talks. The official suggested these might include asking Israel to put a break on settlement construction and take steps to allow the Palestinian economy to improve; and ending to all ″incitement and violence″ on the Palestinian side.