LIVE UPDATES: Trump Asks Abbas to Resolve Issue of Payments to Kin of Terrorists in Israeli Jails

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President Trump Meets with President Abbas Credit: YouTube / White House
Updates

J Street says it's encouraged by President Trumps determination

J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami released a statement following President Trump's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

"J Street is encouraged by President Trumps determination – as articulated in a joint appearance with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas – to launch a serious attempt to negotiate an end to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. However, we still await critical details about how he sees such a peace being achieved.
"It was important for the President Trump to host President Abbas at the White

House and we welcome his strong endorsement of the cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces and his acknowledgement of the positive role the Palestinian security forces are playing in enhancing the prospects for peace, law, order and public safety to the benefit of both communities.

"We also applaud President Trumps commitment to look for ways to develop new economic opportunities for the Palestinians. But as President Abbas noted, real progress depends on ending the half-century-long Israeli occupation of the West Bank and paving the way for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
"President Trump also alluded to the need to end incitement and hatred – sentiments we share.

"While President Trump says he will mediate, facilitate and arbitrate between the parties, there has to be a clear starting point and a clear goal for such negotiations—and that can only be support for the two-state solution. President Trumps continued equivocation on whether or not he supports the two-state solution undermines President Abbas viability as leader and a negotiating partner. Promoting a two-state agreement has been a bipartisan policy goal of the United States for the past 25 years and President Trump should commit himself to this principle without further delay if he is serious about pursuing peace."

White House: Trump asked Abbas to resolve issue of payments to kin of terrorists in Israeli jails

White House Spokesman Sean Spicer said at his daily press briefing Wednesday that President Donald Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed ways to advance the peace process and steps to strengthen the Palestinian economy.

Spicer added that Trump raised with Abbas the issue of payments to families of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails, and asked the Palestinian leader to resolve it. (Amir Tibon)

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Trump: We've spoken to Netanyahu, we'll start a process

After Abbas spoke, Trump addressed reporters again and said: "We've spoke to Netanyahu and to many Israeli leaders, we'll start a process which hopefully will lead to peace, I've always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is between the Israelis and the Palestinians - let's prove them wrong." (Amir Tibon)

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U.S. President Donald Trump (R) welcomes Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. May 3, 2017.Credit: JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

Abbas: It's about time to end the occupation

At the joint press conference with Trump, President Mahmoud Abbas said that "god willing, we are coming toward a new opportunity for peace," adding that a permanent solution is possible and that the issues of refugees and Palestinians imprisoned in Israel

It's about time for Israel to end the occupation of our people and our land, Abbas said.

After Abbas spoke, Trump addressed reporters again and said: "We've spoke to Netanyahu and to many Israeli leaders, we'll start a process which hopefully will lead to peace, I've always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is between the Israelis and the Palestinians - let's prove them wrong." (Amir Tibon)

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President Donald Trump welcomes Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017.Credit: Susan Walsh/AP

Trump: We will get it done

Speaking in the White House, President Donald Trump said that he looked forward to having President Mahmoud Abbas return to the White House to sign a peace agreement with the Israelis."We will get it done. There's a very very good chance," Trump said.

Trump introduced his guest: "Almost 24 years ago President Abbas stood with a courageous peace maker, Yitzhak Rabin, here at the White House. President Abbas signed a declaration of principles - very important - laid the foundations for peace, first Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. You remember that well. I want to support you in being the Palestinian leader who signs the final agreement."

"An agreement cannot be imposed by the U.S. or any other nation," Trump said. "Palestinians and Israelis must work together to reach an agreement." The U.S. president went on to say that he wants to mediate the peace agreement between the two sides. (Amir Tibon)

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Trump meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House

President Donald Trump met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House Wednesday.

Trump said hopefully something terrific will come out between Palestinians and Israel.

The Palestinians have expressed optimism ahead of the meeting. Abbas spokesman, Nabil Abu-Rudeineh, said the Palestinian president would stress the need for advancing a process based on a two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative, the 2002 proposal that was ratified once again at the Arab League summit in late March.

Abbas arrived in Washington on Tuesday and will stay for three days. He is also expected to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, senators, congressmen and representatives of Jewish organizations.

A senior White House official told Haaretz on Tuesday night that Trump will seek Abbas' commitment to a reboot of the peace process. (Amir Tibon)

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President Donald Trump, accompanied by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

Trump to ask Abbas to stop paying families of Palestinian terrorists

U.S. President Donald Trump will ask Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at their meeting on Wednesday to stop payments to families of Palestinian killed white carrying out attacks against Israelis, a senior White House official said. (Barak Ravid)

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A woman mourns near the grave of Eitam and Na'ama Henkin, who were shot and killed while driving through the West Bank with their children, after their funeral in Jerusalem October 2, 2015. Credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters

Trump to ask Abbas: Commit to U.S. initiative on rebooting Israeli-Palestinian peace process

U.S. President Donald Trump will ask Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday to cooperate with the initiative he plans to launch in the coming months to revive the Middle East peace process that has been frozen since April 2014.

The president will seek President Abbas commitment to work with us as we try to move peace efforts forward, a senior White House official told Haaretz. (Barak Ravid, Jack Khoury, Amir Tibon)

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Palestinians optimistic ahead of Trump, Abbas meeting

The Palestinians have expressed optimism on the eve of the meeting. Abbas spokesman, Nabil Abu-Rudeineh, said Abbas would stress the need for advancing a process based on a two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative, the 2002 proposal that was ratified once again at the Arab League summit in late March. (Jack Khoury)

Analysis: Why Hamas' new charter is aimed at Palestinians, not Israelis

Hamas new Document of General Principles and Policies wasnt intended to please Israel or Israelis. Its denial that Jews have any religious, emotional or historical affinity with this land is unequivocal. It says the Zionist project doesnt only target the Palestinians, but is also the enemy of the Arab and Muslim people and endangers the peace and security of the whole world. And therefore, according to the document, it endangers all humanity. Finally, the single sentence about a state in the 1967 borders is far less dramatic than depicted. (Amira Hass)

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Republican senators urge Trump to stop Palestinians from paying terrorists' families

WASHINGTON – Three prominent Republican senators wrote to President Donald Trump on Tuesday asking him to pressure Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to stop paying salaries to families of convicted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.

Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Tom Cotton of Arkansas urged Trump to raise this matter with President Abbas during his visit and to make clear to him that this practice must end.

According to the senators, the Palestinian Authority spends around $300 million a year – about eight percent of its budget – paying salaries and benefits to convicted terrorists and their families. (Amir Tibon)

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Abbas arrives in Washington for meeting with Trump

Abbas arrived Tuesday in Washington and will remain for three days. During their meeting Wednesday, Trump and Abbas are expected to make statements to the media. (Barak Ravid, Jack Khoury, Amir Tibon)

Opinion: Will Trump let Israel continue to dictate American policy?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has landed in Washington. U.S. President Trump invited him to visit the White House to discuss ways to resume the political process between Palestine and Israel. President Abbas welcomed this initiative and said that he is looking forward to a constructive meeting. The magnitude of this task, however, must not be underestimated. (Ahmed Tibi)

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Netanyahu: Palestinians must stop paying terrorists' families if they want peace

Netanyahu has conveyed messages through the media to the White House, Congress and the American people against the Palestinian Authority's transfers of funds to families of terrorists and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Israeli diplomats are likely conveying similar messages to the White House.

In an interview with Fox News a week and a half ago, Netanyahu demanded that the Palestinians stop these payments if they wished to show that they really wanted peace. (Barak Ravid, Jack Khoury, Amir Tibon)

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