Next stop for Trump is Israel, in pursuit of 'ultimate deal'

Israel approves economic measures for Palestinians ahead of Trump visit

President Donald Trump lands in Israel on Monday for the second leg of his first foreign trip as president where he will tackle the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, address regional security issues and reaffirm the US' commitment to its alliance with Israel.

Mr Trump will hold talks with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders during the course of his two-day stop.

But he is also contending with a raft of problems back home, including a special counsel investigating whether his associates colluded with Russian Federation.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have not had substantive direct talks since 2010.

Mr Trump is expected to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray and located in east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 and later annexed.

Erekat, however, warned against relocating the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, the USA ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley said: "I don't know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we've always seen it and that's how we should pursue it ..." And then he's visiting the Western Wall which is a major Jewish holy site, a remnant of the ancient Jewish temple complex which stood in Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago.

Trump has wanted to see Israel promote economic growth for the Palestinians so the Israeli Cabinet voted to ease up on Palestinian movement restrictions to allow Palestinians in the West Bank to build in some areas that they've been restricted in building.

This is why the us embassy in Israel has since it opened about 50 years ago been in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem.

For Palestinians, East Jerusalem is a symbol of their national struggle and home to Islam's third most sacred site, the al-Aqsa mosque, and the nearby glittering Dome of the Rock.

Trump arrives in Israel on Monday and will meet Netanyahu.

A Palestinian official says President Mahmoud Abbas will propose exchanging 6.5 percent of the Palestinian territory to Israel, more than triple the amount put forward in a previous land-swap initiative.

"We will strengthen security ties, which are strengthening daily, and we will also discuss ways to advance peace".

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Trump has also retreated from a campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, bending to the same diplomatic and security concerns as other presidents who have made similar promises.

He has spoken of reaching "the toughest deal to make", one that has long bedevilled USA presidents, vowing "we will get it done".

"It is something that I think is, frankly, maybe, not as hard as people have thought over the years", Trump said last month during a meeting with Abbas.

"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like", Trump said during a joint news conference with Netanyahu at the White House in February.

Israeli officials say they are largely in the dark about what ideas Trump might present for peace or what concessions he may demand.

Trump has sent mixed signals about how he will approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but the U.S. president has been widely seen as considerably more supportive of Israel than his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Tied to Trump's assurance is the promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Trump´s seeming openness to at least some of Abbas´s concerns has given Palestinians more reason for hope than many may have expected, but still reason to remain wary, some analysts say.

The United States insists that the Palestinian Authority immediately end its "pay for slay" policy of providing salaries to terrorists in Israeli jails, and to the families of those terrorists and other "martyrs".

In Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Trump told dozens of Muslim leaders the time had come for "honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism".

He singled out Iran, saying it had "fuelled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror" in the region for decades.