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Netanyahu against Abbas: "He didn't speak the truth"

13 May 2017

Donald Trump has committed the United States to helping to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, telling visiting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that there is "a very good chance" of getting it done.

Leading up to Abbas's White House visit, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against the PA's payment of stipends to Palestinian terrorists and their families.

In statements from the Roosevelt room at the White House flanked by both the American and the Palestinian flags, Trump gave a much-needed boost to Abbas ahead of a working lunch with the delegation.

Trump expressed his desire to have Palestinians and Israelis draw on the Oslo Accords that Abbas signed as the Palestinian negotiator in 1993 and said he hoped the Palestinian leader would soon sign "the final and most important peace agreement". Let's see if we can prove them wrong.

Mr Abbas described his meeting with Mr Trump as positive and said "we build hopes on it".

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Mr Trump has made clear that the details do not matter much to him, and he has abandoned the long- time USA commitment to the so-called two-state solution.

President Trump is mistaken if he believes Abbas is genuinely interested in finding peace. "I'm always ready for genuine peace".

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri echoed the sentiment on Twitter, saying "No one authorised Mahmoud Abbas to represent the Palestinian people". "And while there will undoubtedly have to be compromises, you can rest assured: President Donald Trump will never comprise the safety and security of the Jewish state of Israel".

He warned that any kind of "honeymoon" between Trump and the Arab world would be quickly over if the U.S. moved the embassy to Jerusalem.

Abbas said he hoped the United States could be "true partners" to bring about a historic settlement.

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The new charter recognises the PLO as the political framework for Palestinian national aspirations, and aligns with Fatah's position regarding a solution to the conflict. But it would be foolish to expect a meeting to lead to anything without hundreds of hours of work on the detail of new ideas and envoys shuttling between Israelis and Palestinians to encourage painful concessions.

Mr Trump is widely viewed in Israel and the wider Middle East as far more sympathetic to Israeli interests - including the contentious issue of settlement building - than his predecessor Barack Obama.

"I look forward to discussing with President Trump the best ways to advance peace", Netanyahu added.

Abbas also does not appear to have secured US backing for pressure on Israel to end settlement construction in the lands the Palestinians claim for a future state - a major goal for the embattled Palestinian leader.

"Trump focused on calling the Palestinians to stop incitement in the media and boost the security coordination (with Israel) in return for resuming the U.S. financial aid to the Palestinians and maybe it has chose to postpone moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem", el-Masri told Xinhua.

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Abbas' Fatah political party also faces a serious challenge from Hamas, the rival Palestinian group controlling the Gaza Strip.