Netanyahu Welcomes Trump's Aspiration for Israel-Palestine Reconciliation

Eight-year-old Palestinian Laith Yousif Shatat was hit by a settler's car as he stood outside his school in Yatta on 3 May 2017

President Trump met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House and talked about his hopes for peace between Palestine and Israel.

Standing alongside the USA president in the Roosevelt Room to address reporters, Abbas, speaking in Arabic, said he believed the parties are capable under Trump's "courageous stewardship and great negotiating ability" to bring about "a historic peace treaty".

"The president of the United States, as we speak, is giving serious consideration into moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem", he said, speaking at an event to celebrate Israel's Independence Day. "I believe that we are capable under your leadership and your stewardship - your courageous stewardship and your wisdom, as well as your great negotiating ability - that we can be partners, true partners, to you to bring about a historic peace treaty", Abbas said.

Trump stressed that he is personally committed to helping the Israelis and Palestinians achieve a comprehensive peace, and that any peace settlement can only be the product of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Turning to Mr Abbas, he added: "I think there's a very, very good chance, and I think you feel the same way".

Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that PA payments to terrorists is a major obstacle to a peace agreement, but it seems unlikely the Palestinians will change this policy.

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Abbas' visit comes over two months after Netanyahu visited Trump at the White House.

The Palestinians want to set up a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

"I've always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is between the Israelis and the Palestinian", Trump said on Wednesday.

"An honor to host President Mahmoud Abbas at the WH today", Trump wrote in the tweet.

The goal of a Palestinian state living peacefully beside Israel has been the position of successive U.S. administrations and the worldwide community. "Let's see if we can prove them wrong". In the past, Abbas balked at the idea of such a summit, saying it would be pointless without general agreement on the framework of negotiations and a significant curb in settlement construction.

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However, at the same time, Mr Trump has urged Israel to hold back on settlement building in the West Bank, which has been a long-standing source of tensions in the region.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Abbas expressing his "deep appreciation" to Trump after "constructive and in-depth talks that represented a promising start for peace during the Trump administration".

The summit talks between President Mahmoud Abbas and his United States counterpart Donald Trump in Washington was the highlight of the Thursday issue of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies.

Like previous US leaders, Trump faces numerous obstacles in the long-shot bid.

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