Trump visits Bethlehem: meets Palestinian delegation

Trump visits Bethlehem: meets Palestinian delegation

Donald Trump is set to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem on Tuesday to discuss the resumption of peace

Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria

Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria

Donald Trump is set to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem on Tuesday to discuss the resumption of peace talks with Israel. Trump calls finding an agreement to the seven-decade conflict the “ultimate deal” and appears highly motivated to succeed where his predecessors have failed.

However, Mr Trump’s commitment to a two-state solution, long the standard policy in Washington, is shaky. At a February 15 press conference with Benjamin Netanyahu the president said “I like the one [solution] both parties like”. He also declined to voice support for two states when Abbas visited the White House on May 3.

In the absence of two separate Palestinian and Israeli states, a ‘one-state solution’ of sorts must emerge. But such an outcome is fiercely opposed by both sides, not least because each has an insatiable desire for their own independence and national identity.

But decades of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank has made a two-state solution virtually untenable. With a huge amount of extremely complicated land swaps now needed for a two-state deal to work, Trump and his hosts certainly have their work cut out for them.