President Donald Trump has vowed to work as a “mediator, an arbitrator or a facilitator” in order to broker peace between the Israeli and Palestinian populations. In his prediction that an agreement might be “not as difficult as we thought,” he pledged, “We will get this done.”

  • There is new “hope” in the air, according to Palestinian leadership.
  • A deal alongside 1967 borders would be the most likely, if anything.

Trump reemphasised the need for Israelis and Palestinians to broker peace through direct negotiations, calling on Palestinian leaders to speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate.” Trump said on Wednesday alongside Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the Roosevelt Room, “There’s such hatred, but hopefully there won’t be such hatred for very long”.

No mention of a two-state solution

Trump failed to mention what has so far been a key component to any deal, a separate Palestinian state. This is something that Abbas is ideologically tied to, along with a long-held desire to have a capital in East Jerusalem. Abbas expressed “hope” about the prospects of peace with Trump as the mediator.

“I believe that we are capable under your leadership and under your courageous stewardship and your wisdom as well as your great negotiating ability … I believe we can be partners — true partners to you — to bring about a historic peace treaty,” Abbas said through an interpreter. “Now, Mr. President, with you we have hope.”

Trump said that it was the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves that should agree terms, rather than have any imposed onto them. “I will do whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement, to mediate, to arbitrate – anything they’d like to do,” Trump said. “But I would love to be a mediator or an arbitrator or a facilitator. And we will get this done.

Back in February when Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he said, “I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like.”

Palestinian terms

Along with the long-held Palestinian belief that there should be a separate Palestinian state bounded by territorial borders as they were in 1967 with East Jerusalem as it’s capital, Abbas is also calling for Israel to withdraw its military from the Palestinian territories.

“We are the only remaining people in the world that still live under occupation. We are aspiring and want to achieve our freedom, our dignity, and our right to self-determination,” Abbas said. “And we also want for Israel to recognize the Palestinian state just as the Palestinian people recognize the state of Israel.”

Abbas also spoke of the importance of providing solutions to the Palestinian refugee crisis, along with those imprisoned in Israeli jails, referring to “the suffering of my people”.

“Mr. President, it’s about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land,” Abbas said, referring to the Palestinian territories in the West Bank under Israeli control.

Making a deal 

Trump has often said since his election that he would like to broker a peace deal between the two sides that has eluded so many of his predecessors.

“We will be discussing details of what has proven to be a very difficult situation between Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said. “Let’s see if we can find the solution. It’s something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years. We need two willing parties. We believe Israel is willing. We believe you’re willing. And if you are willing, we are going to make a deal.”

Trump on Wednesday did not address the settlements on the West Bank which he has asked the Israeli Prime Minister to halt, and he also did not reference Hammas, the terror group that controls Gaza and has this week opened the door for the first time to at least a temporary deal based on the 1967 borders.