Abbas-Trump summit focus of dailies — Newspapers Review

Hamas’s Khaled Meshaal on principles pragmatism

Trump deleted a tweet that said it was an "honor" to meet the Palestinian leader.

Despite his pro-Israeli campaign trail rhetoric, since entering the White House Mr Trump has caught some Israeli hard-liners off guard with the suggestion the Netanyahu coalition government should "hold back" on settlement building, and his administration has equivocated over whether the USA embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as promised.

It is not clear whether Trump deleted the tweet because it was too positive a comment about his Palestinian counterpart -and therefore risked provoking the ire of the Israelis- or because it was missing a word. He did not explain what type of solution he envisions. Israel has rejected the 1967 lines as a possible border, saying it would impose security risks.

Trump welcomed Abbas to the White House and recommitted himself to peace in the region where the top priority for him right now is defeat of the Islamic State. The Netanyahu government, like those before it, have expanded settlements on war-won lands, despite US appeals to curb construction. "Now Mr. President, with you we have hope", Abbas told Trump.

Earlier this week, his West Bank-based government announced it will stop paying for electricity Israel sends to power-starved Gaza. Israel continues settlement construction in the West Bank. Abbas did not explain his apparent shift in position.

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Netanyahu also said that he "look (s) forward to discussing with President Trump the best ways to advance peace".

But Trump's unpredictability has even at times rattled a close ally like Israel.

Former Foreign Minister and Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni declared her opposition to payments to the families of Palestinians terrorists, but said that Netanyahu could take "dramatic" steps and pass a peace deal and that there is sufficient support from both Trump and the Israeli Knesset. This is something Israel is always ready for.

"I would like you to hold back on settlements for a little bit", Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, according to NBC News. Three Republican senators urged a halt to such payments in a letter to Trump that reflected widespread opinion in Congress.

Senior Palestinian Authority official Nabil Shaath.

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"There's such hatred, but hopefully there won't be such hatred for very long", Trump said, speaking alongside Abbas in the Roosevelt Room. Officials said it would be addressed in a future meeting.

President Donald Trump has faced deep scepticism at home and overseas over his chances for any quick diplomatic breakthrough. He hopes to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that have been stalled since March 2014.

Over decades, Palestinians have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.

President Trump says he's eager to facilitate, mediate and arbitrate a deal, but ultimately the solution must come from the Israeli and Palestinian people. Abbas has been in power since 2005, and new elections were blocked partly because of a rivalry with the Hamas militant group. It has dismissed Mr Abbas' strategy of negotiations and said he does not represent Palestinians.

After several failed reconciliation attempts, Abbas recently said he would pressure Hamas financially to force it to cede ground. "After 50 years, we are the only remaining people in the world who still live under occupation".

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