Melania Trump appears to slap away president's hand in Israel

Elias Hubbard
May 23, 2017

There was no indication that the alleged stabbing attempt was linked to Trump's visit.

Meanwhile, Chief Palestinian negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said this weekend: "We believe that moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem would mean the end of the peace process".

"A heavy lift for even the most experienced, best-managed White House", Shapiro continued.

The letter noted that Trump's acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital would be consistent with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which stated that the USA should recognize the city as the Israeli capital and relocate its embassy within it. He is on a nine-day trip through the Middle East and Europe that ends on Saturday after visits to the Vatican, Brussels and Sicily. He then tucked a prayer note into a deep crevice.

As a candidate, Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - essentially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In stressing threats from Iran, Trump echoed a theme laid out during weekend meetings in Saudi Arabia with Muslim leaders from around the world, many wary of the Islamic Republic's growing regional influence and financial muscle.

"Mr. President, yesterday in Saudi Arabia you delivered a forceful speech on terrorism and extremism, called on forces of civilization to confront the forces of barbarism", he said.

"What's happened with Iran has brought numerous parts of the Middle East toward Israel", Trump said in public remarks at a meeting in Jerusalem with Rivlin. "But we can only get there working together", he added.

Notably, the news broke just one day ahead of the arrival of US President Trump, who is visiting the Middle East as part of his first global tour.

As a candidate, Trump pledged to move the embassy to Jerusalem, Israel's capital, but since assuming the presidency he has retreated.

The president was greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the tarmac, along with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. By visiting countries that are the spiritual homes of Islam, Judaism and Catholic Christianity, Trump is seeking unity as he dives head-first into some of the most intractable conflicts in the world. The waivers expire every six months, and Trump is expected to sign the renewal when it expires on June 1.

As photographers and reporters were being ushered out of a room where Trump and Netanyahu had just finished posing for photographs, Trump stopped them, and made a statement that clearly had not been part of any prepared script or agenda for the public portion of the meeting. Tillerson referred to the visit as "a moment in time" and suggested that the US would take a more active role in the future in brokering a deal if both sides make serious commitments. After shaking Trump's hand, Hazan said "I wish I could do a selfie with you".

"We understand each other", said Netanyahu.

And now he will make his first visit to Israel full of promises but with few concrete ideas of solving the problem that has vexed presidents for decades.

In what the official described as a "gesture for Trump's visit, which does not harm Israel's interests", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet on Sunday approved the enlargement of a Palestinian industrial zone on the edge of the southern West Bank.

The president's visit will include a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center, Bethlehem and the Western Wall.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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