Trump trip to Israel possibly first flight from Saudi Arabia

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During a grand welcome ceremony, to which Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made attendance mandatory for all government ministers, Trump said he hoped to "reaffirm the unbreakable bond" between the US and Israel.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that shared concern about Iran was driving Israel and many Arab states closer and demanded that Tehran immediately cease military and financial backing of "terrorists and militias".

Trump was referring to reports that information he gave to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak endangered the life of an Israeli spy embedded in Islamic State.

After a tense relationship with Obama, Netanyahu lauded Trump for being a leader on the global stage and for his support of Israel.

Trump, who spoke after arriving in Israel on what is thought to be the first direct flight there from Saudi Arabia, has also vowed to do whatever is necessary to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

"I hope", Trump said after the meeting in west Jerusalem on Monday, without elaborating.

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He told journalists: "I never mentioned the word or the name Israel". It comes a week after the U.S. alliance with Israel was put to the test amid reports that Trump divulged highly classified intelligence obtained by the Israelis during his meeting with the Russian foreign minister. He also toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is believed to be where Jesus was crucified and the location of his tomb. He didn't elaborate on the more delicate question: whether the administration would change USA policy over the status of Jerusalem. Mahmoud Abbas' reaction will be clear tomorrow, when he will meet the USA president in Bethlehem in the West Bank, although already yesterday in Riyadh, where he attended with other Arab leaders a speech delivered by Trump, he listened to the United States position on the need to restart talks and the confirmation that Hamas is labeled as a terror organization, a move that was slammed by Hamas. His wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, accompanied him.

Later that day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters only that the Western Wall was "clearly in Jerusalem", a fact no one denies, but a question Trump will nearly certainly be asked this week.

US-Israeli tensions over Trump's revelation to Russians? -Israeli intelligence cooperation is "terrific" while attempting to dismiss concerns that the incident violated a confidentiality agreement. "The president said during the campaign that he believes the capital of Israel is where the embassy should be, but because we're having great conversations with everyone right now, we don't think it would be a time to do that so we don't plan to do that on this trip".

Trump did not specify whether the U.S. is urging Israel to halt only new settlement activity, or even construction to expand existing settlements.

While Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all visited Israel at some point during their stints as president, none did so early in their term or on their first trip overseas.

"The wall is part of Jerusalem", he said, declaring an undeniable fact accepted by all sides.

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