Trump on Israeli-Palestinian deal: 'We will get it done'

Trump "is a results-oriented businessman who feels an intense responsibility to succeed for his investors, in this case the American people", McMaster said Tuesday at Independence Day celebrations hosted by Israel's embassy in Washington, agreeing with those who say Trump is "disruptive".

Asked what distinguishes Trump's plans from previous attempts, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said merely: "The man is different". Trump also urged Netanyahu to "hold back on settlements for a little bit".

Abbas said "it's about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and our land" - a reference to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank.

"What he's trying to do by coming is highlight his relevance and that he has a major role to play and that it'll be hard to get anything done without him", says Dennis Ross, who has worked on Mideast peace talks under three separate US administrations.

Abbas is increasingly unpopular at home. "We want them to live in peace with Israeli children".

Abbas, 82, who was among the negotiators on hand for the historic signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in 1993, indicated he did feel optimistic that almost a quarter-century later Trump might be the president who finally builds on that initial agreement to forge a final resolution to the conflict.

But at the same time, he didn't offer any new strategy about how peace could be achieved. Only a two-state solution, Abbas said, would allow Palestinians to focus on fighting terrorism and enable Arab states to establish normal relations with Israel. The Palestinian leader said a peace agreement could be reached under "the courageous leadership of Donald Trump". "And if you are willing, we are going to make a deal". "That's his legitimacy, is to say no", Quandt says.

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Trump reiterated the need for Israelis and Palestinians to broker a peace through direct negotiations and called on Palestinian leaders to "speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate".

During the campaign, Trump promised there would be "no daylight' between his administration and Israel".

Trump, in complete contrast, made clear throughout his brief remarks that he regards Abbas as a central, viable part of the solution.

He has charged son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner with a key role in the effort - just one part of Kushner's sprawling White House portfolio - as well as enlisting former Trump Organization executive Jason Greenblatt, now a special representative for worldwide organizations.

"Will Jared Kushner work?"

"I know President Abbas has spoken out against ISIS" and other terrorist groups, Trump said Wednesday at a White House ceremony welcoming Abbas, using one of several acronyms for the Islamic State.

Not everyone is pessimistic about Trump's push for peace. Reaffirming his commitment to a two-state solution, he called on Israel to recognize Palestinian statehood just as Palestinians recognize the state of Israel.

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