US President Donald Trump touches down in Israel on Monday, and nobody knows what’s going to happen. Sure, every step of the way has been choreographed and coordinated between the Trump team and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Every word, every photo and every stop on the way has been vetted, dissected and analyzed to prevent any improper interpretation or misplaced symbolism from occurring. Nobody knows what’s going to happen – he’s a loose cannon entering a volatile minefield. So when you combine the inclination to utter off-script statements with a less-than-average knowledge of the facts at hand, you’ve got the perfect recipe for any number of cringe-worthy moments during Trump’s appearances in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. From Israel’s point of view, the best thing to do would be to stay out of the line of fire as much as possible, while walking the tightrope between giving the necessary honor to the office of the presidency and at the same time not fawning over the strangest president in American history. The only thing we know about Trump’s policy regarding Israel is that it could change at any time. Trump may be no better or worse than any of his modern-day predecessors, except that due to the alarming lack of stability emanating from his fickle presidency, he’s a liability for Israel.
President Donald Trump said on Saturday he will move quickly to nominate a new FBI director, after he sparked a political firestorm by firing the man investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign. Trump told reporters he might even be able to make his decision on who should succeed James Comey to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation before he departs on his first foreign trip late next week.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to negotiate a Middle East peace deal, declaring that the Palestinians were ready to cooperate with Trump’s efforts to broker a regional peace agreement. Last week, the Palestinian Authority president met Trump in Washington. The Palestinian leader made a similar statement on Tuesday, following a meeting with German President FrankWalter Steinmeier in Ramallah. “I stressed to President Trump that under his auspices I am open to cooperating and to meeting with the Israeli prime minister in order to make peace”, Abbas told reporters. “I pledged our full cooperation in the war on terror and extremism in our region and across the globe”. Putin also said Thursday Russia will continue efforts to help restore direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians. After their meeting, Putin and Abbas praised bilateral relations as they dedicated a cultural center in Bethlehem via video conference. According to the WAFA Palestinian news agency, the construction of the new venue, named Putin Palestinian Foundation for Culture and Economics, cost $40 million.The center is meant to promote cultural exchange between the Russians and the Palestinians.
Donald Trump warned ousted FBI Director James Comey on Friday not to talk to the media, a highly unusual move that prompted fresh charges the president is trying to silence the man who led an investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s election campaign and Russia. On Twitter, Trump appeared to suggest that if Comey gave his version of contacts between them, the administration might produce tapes of conversations, although it was not clear if such tapes exist. The veiled threat added to the storm over Trump’s abrupt firing of Comey on Tuesday. Critics have assailed Trump for dismissing the FBI chief at a time when the agency is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, and possible Moscow ties to the Trump presidential campaign.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that his visit to the United States next week would herald a new beginning in relations between the two countries. Relations between the NATO allies have been strained by differences over Syria policy. U.S. President Donald Trump approved a plan on Tuesday (May 9) to arm the Syrian Kurdish YPG in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), a move which was strongly objected by Turkey, which sees the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Erdogan told a news conference at the capital Ankara that he believed the United States was still going through a “transition period”, and that decisions such as the arming the YPG dated back to policies from the previous administration. He also said he would pursue Turkey’s demand for the extradition of the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen who Ankara says was behind a failed military coup last July. That was followed by a purge of tens of thousands of Turkish state employees accused of links to Gulen, who has denied any involvement in the coup attempt.
Next week, Trump will go to visit to Saudi Arabia, and in occasion of this the Gulf States have held a conference in Washington, keynoted by Prince Faisal. Actually Prince Faisal is appointed as high-ranking adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and he has openly said the future goals of Arabian political programs. For example he has talked about the economic diversification, in compliance with objectives of Vision 2030. In addition to this, he has talked about the empowerment of women from 22 to 33% in workplaces. Also, he has also illustrated the relevance of boosting tourism field, opening new paths to Saudi Arabia and enforcing relations with China, Japan and Asia. He has not called Vision 2030 “a program for economic reform”, framing it instead as “a true effort at national transformation to create a more vibrant society, thriving economy and an ambitious nation”.
Hamas is stepping up its efforts to carry out a major terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria to avenge the killing of one of its top operatives in the Gaza Strip, defense officials told Israel Hayom Wednesday. Mazen Faqha was killed in mid-March in what Hamas said was a Mossad assassination. Hamas has vowed to avenge Faqha, even going as far as directly threatening top Israel officials. The military and Shin Bet security agency have been following the group’s efforts very closely, and have stepped up their counterterrorism efforts across Judea and Samaria. Israeli authorities have arrested a number of terrorists operating under explicit instructions from Gaza to carry out attacks, mainly abductions and mass-casualty attacks. Faqha was a close associate of Hamas leader in Gaza.Hamas’ efforts to carry out a major terrorist attack compound existing security tensions, which are expected to escalate further against the backdrop of three coinciding events: The upcoming visit by U.S. President Donald Trump; Jerusalem Day, which this year marks the 50th anniversary of the capital’s reunification; and the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.Israeli security forces are collaborating with their Palestinian counterparts and the joint counterterrorism efforts have prevented dozens of attacks over the past few months. Defense officials predict that if a diplomatic breakthrough is achieved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during Trump’s visit, terrorists will consequently step up their efforts to carry out attacks.
According to US Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, Trump has accepted invitation by King Salman of visiting Saudi Arabia later this month. He has also affirmed, Trump considers Saudi Arabia as critical ally in the region. Of course, it is stressed out the importance of the partnership between these two States in order to achieve several goals, regarding fields such as terrorism, stability and security.The aim of Trump, as Kelly reported, is cooperating and associating in order to help to fight extremism and violence and to help young muslims to embrace a better and more hopeful future. Kelly went to visit some historical and important places such gateway to Makkah and Madinah and Bayt Nasseef Heritage House in Jeddah’s historic district.
U.S. President Donald Trump may use his upcoming visit to Israel to announce the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Quoting senior Palestinian officials, the report said preparations for a summit including the American president, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were underway. According to the report, officials say Trump is likely to set a timetable of between nine months and a year for the peace talks. It was unclear whether Israel and the Palestinians are expected to reach a full agreement or merely mark significant breakthroughs during this time frame. Abbas, who met with Trump in Washington last week, said Tuesday that he is willing to meet Netanyahu under the auspices of the American president. “I stressed before President Trump that under his auspices I am open to cooperating and to meeting with the Israeli prime minister in order to make peace”, Abbas said. “I pledged our full cooperation in the war on terror and extremism in our region and across the globe”. Also on Tuesday, David Friedman, the new U.S. ambassador to Israel said he would arrive in the country on May 15 to begin his tenure. Friedman also said it was his hope to work from Jerusalem, amid the backdrop of Trump’s declaration of intent to transfer the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to the capital.
President Donald Trump said he has told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement at this time, but could still withdraw if he concludes a renegotiated pact is not “a fair deal for all”. Trump tweeted early Thursday that he has agreed to remain a partner in the much-discussed trade agreement in calls he received from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The White House released a statement late Wednesday saying only that Trump had assured the two leaders in phone conversations that the U.S. would not withdraw from NAFTA at this time.