Can Netanyahu say ‘No’ to Trump?

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Al Monitor: Reports dribbling in to Jerusalem over the past few days indicate that US officials are enthusiastic about the Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. The news came as no surprise to the Israeli leadership.

It had been clear to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Security Cabinet that the United States would support the negotiations.

All indications are that the United States has no intention of giving up. There are an increasing number of leaks from Washington about the upcoming peace initiative. They seem to be saying that they will not force anything on either party, but at the same time, they certainly intend to present the parties with the “ultimate deal.”

Will this be the first time that President Donald Trump forces Netanyahu’s hand and drags him to the negotiating table? more …

Opinion: As we approach the first anniversary of the Trump victory, it is becoming a reality that his power is growing. The global economy has added $5 trillion in wealth, thanks in large part to a rise in the stock market and Mr. Trump’s pro-business executive orders that rolled back over 800 Obama job-killing regulations on small business.

So if this continues, Netanyahu, who is under tremendous legal problems at home, will be hard pressed to go along with the president’s deal.

The first phase of the Egyptian peace deal is PA/Hamas unity. Relations between Egypt and the US have begun to thaw after the disastrous 2013 Obama/Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the Arab world’s most populous country.

Problem #1: Abbas has been reluctant in his support, saying any unity deal must lead to the PA assuming “full control” over the Strip and see the Hamas terror group cede its military arsenal.

Hamas, however, has been adamant it will not part from its weapons.

Problem #2: Netanyahu has repeatedly said that any future Palestinian government must disband the terror organization’s armed wing, sever all ties with Iran, and recognize the State of Israel.

Not only has Hamas refused to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, but has been obvious in cementing ties with Iran. Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

Problem #3:  Fatah, the faction that controls the PA, and the Hamas terror group have been at loggerheads since Hamas violently took control of the Strip in 2007, with the two groups operating separate administrations.

The factions have unsuccessfully attempted to reconcile a number of times in the past. If Hamas gives in to Abbas’ demands the next hurdle, East Jerusalem, will be insurmountable:

I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:2