JERUSALEM AFP May21, 2017-US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories on Monday and Tuesday will be closely scrutinised as he seeks ways to re-start peace efforts.
This year marks 50 years since the Six-Day War and the beginning of Israel’s occupation. Peace efforts have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in 2014. Meanwhile, Israel and Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, have fought three wars since 2008.
Trump has talked up his business experience in saying he wants to reach the “ultimate deal ‘Israeli-Palestinian peace’.
Palestinian political scientist Ali al-Jarbawi said “Triggering the start of a process does not mean taking it until the end,” said .
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have not had substantive direct talks since 2010. Abbas says he is ready to meet Netanyahu under Trump’s peace efforts, and there has been speculation the US president could seek to arrange a meeting while in the region. But many analysts see the prospect
Trump sparked concern when he backed away from the long US commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict, saying he could support one state if it meant peace.