Trump Heads to Israel: Jerusalem Braces for Presidential Visit

Tourists with afternoon flights Monday and Tuesday out of Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel are advised to head out early

Israelis walks past a poster welcoming and supporting US President Donald Trump in downtown Jerusalem, on May 21, 2017, on the eve of a two-day visit of the US president.
US President Donald Trump heads for Israel and the Palestinian territories on May 22 as part of his first trip abroad since taking office, hoping to renew peace efforts but with controversy trailing him. / AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA
MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP

The hospitality sector in Israel has geared up for the arrival on Monday of U.S. President Donald Trump and his sizeable entourage, as well as the press corps coming to cover the visit.

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The Israel Airports Authority has asked people using Ben-Gurion International Airport around midday on Monday and Tuesday afternoon, when he will be departing, to get to the airport early and be in touch with their airlines regarding possible changes in flight times.

A timetable of Trump's visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority

International flights on low-cost carriers that normally use Terminal 1 are being transferred to Terminal 3 until early Wednesday morning. Domestic flights from the airport to Eilat will operate normally. Trump’s presence will also be disrupting highway traffic and security will be particularly tight.

>> Donald Trump's visit to Israel: Live updates and analyses >>

The president and his wife, Melania, will be staying at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, as will the president’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, an adviser to the president. Other guests at the hotel include U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis. The hotel, which has 233 rooms, has been off limits to the public since Sunday afternoon.

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The hotel’s 160-square-meter Jerusalem suite, where the president will be staying, features a dining room, living room, conference room, a very large bedroom and an area with fitness equipment. The room rate on the suite, where the president will be spending one night, is thought to be between 19,500 shekels and 21,500 shekels ($5,430 to $6,000) per night.

Senior members of the Trump entourage, including family members, will be staying at other suites in the hotel that generally run about 17,000 shekels ($4,740) per night at this time of year. (For further coverage about the hotel, see page 6).

The Dan Hotels chain, to which the King David belongs, said it has put 652 rooms at Jerusalem hotels at the American delegation’s disposal, including all of the 290 rooms at the Dan Panorama Hotel and the 129 rooms at the Dan Boutique Hotel.

The King David has a long history of providing accommodations to visiting heads of state and heads of government. Prior guests have included Barack Obama when he was president and prior to that when he was a U.S. senator; Presidents George H.W. Bush and his son, George W., as well as President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the late Jordanian monarch King Hussein, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s Prince Charles have also stayed at the hotel.