Trump Comes to Israel Citing a Palestinian Deal as Crucial


Mr. Trump sought to showcase his friendship with Mr. Netanyahu as the two shared dinner with their wives and called each other “Donald” and “Bibi,” the prime minister’s nickname.

But neither publicly cited any concrete steps in pursuing a peace agreement. Mr. Trump did not formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as some Israeli officials hoped he would do since he had already shelved for now his promise to move the American Embassy here from Tel Aviv. Nor for that matter did he publicly press Israel to curb settlement construction in the West Bank as Palestinians hoped.

Mr. Netanyahu offered nothing more than a few modest gestures like extending the hours at the border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, recycled from previous moments in the long-running dispute with the Palestinians. During his most extended comments, toward the end of the day, Mr. Netanyahu skipped right over the Palestinian question to focus on Iran.

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President Trump’s Schedule for His First Foreign Trip

The cities Mr. Trump will visit and what events are planned.



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He, too, saw the possibility of an accommodation with Arab neighbors but did not tie it to the Palestinian dispute. “For the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change,” he told Mr. Trump. “The Arab leaders who you met yesterday could help change the atmosphere, and they could help create the conditions for a realistic peace.”

Even as they talked, the pressures that underscore the complexities of any negotiation were evident. More than 1,000 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank marched to the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah, carrying posters of Palestinian inmates on hunger strike in Israeli prisons, and setting off clashes with Israel soldiers who fired tear-gas containers, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

In a separate incident, Israeli authorities reported that a Palestinian teenager who tried to stab police officers near a Palestinian town on the outskirts of Jerusalem was shot to death.

On the other side of the equation, Mr. Netanyahu came under continuing pressure from the right wing of his governing coalition not to make concessions. Naftali Bennett, a pro-settler cabinet minister, used the opportunity of meeting Mr. Trump in an airport receiving line to press him to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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