U.S. President Donald Trump said in an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, “I love the people of Israel, I am working very hard to finally have peace for Israel and the Palestinians”
• Trump admitted he hasn’t yet ruled out visiting the Western Wall with PM Netanyahu.
By Boaz Bismuth
U.S. President Donald Trump has not yet decided who will accompany him to the Western Wall during his upcoming visit to Israel, but he told Israel Hayom in an exclusive interview Thursday: “We have great respect and friendship for [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.”
On Tuesday, the White House said that Netanyahu would not accompany Trump on the first visit to the holy site by an incumbent U.S. president. “No Israeli leaders will join President Trump at the Western Wall,” National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters.
The decision to visit the Western Wall “with the rabbi is more traditional, but that could change,” Trump told Israel Hayom Editor-in-Chief Boaz Bismuth at the White House Thursday, when asked why Netanyahu would not accompany him.
In the interview, the American president reiterated his desire to achieve a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Q: Now that you’ve met all the leaders, Netanyahu on one side, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, King Abdullah of Jordan, the Saudis, and the leaders of the Gulf states, do you think a deal is still possible for the Israeli-Arab conflict?
“I think there is a great possibility that we will make a deal. … I love the people of Israel, I am working very hard to finally have peace for the people of Israel and the Palestinians. Hopefully that can come about much sooner than anybody has ever projected.
“There is a tremendous possibility. This is a deal that is good for all. … We have the right people on it too, with [U.S. Ambassador to Israel] David Friedman and [Special Representative for International Negotiations] Jason Greenblatt.”
Q: Should we be worried about pressure from the Trump administration not to build in parts of our homeland?
“I don’t want to comment on that, other than the fact that I truly believe that we will make a deal.”
Q: You say that you still want to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem , but considering the pressure coming from Arab leaders, some Israelis are worried that you might not do it.
“We have some very interesting things in the works, we will be talking about that in the future.”
The full interview will appear in Israel Hayom on Sunday.
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