Trump Lands in Israel: What to Watch

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 5/22/2017, 10:25 a.m.
President Donald Trump lands in Israel on Monday for the second leg of his first foreign trip as president where ...
President Donald Trump landed in Israel on Monday, May 22, 2017 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. Here he is seen with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

By Jeremy Diamond

CNN

(CNN) -- 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.

The visit is the second of three stops on the President's schedule aimed at highlighting the importance of the world's three largest monotheistic religions. He arrives in Israel after visiting Saudi Arabia, home to the two holiest sites in Islam, and will next head to the Vatican, home of the Catholic Church.

The schedule:

After landing in Tel Aviv, Trump will head to Jerusalem for a series of meetings, speeches and symbolic visits.

Day 1:

Meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Visits the Church of the Holy Sepulcher Visits Western Wall Meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Day 2:

Travels to the West Bank city of Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Visits Israel's Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, to lay a wreath Delivers remarks at the Israel Museum

But who will be there to greet him?

Netanyahu has demanded his government ministers attend Trump's arrival ceremony Monday morning after several of them said they were going to give it a pass, one of the ministers' offices said.

The office source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the visit, told CNN that a number of ministers intended to skip the ceremony at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport because it is expected to be brief, and Trump is only expected to shake the hands of Netanyahu and President Rivlin.

When Netanyahu realized the number of expected ministerial no-shows, however, he made attendance mandatory, the minister's office told CNN.

What's at stake?

US-Israeli tensions over Trump's revelation to Russians?

This is the unexpected cloud that may hang over Trump's visit. It comes a week after the US 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.

The US-Israeli intelligence cooperation agreement is one of the most significant relationships in the world and Trump's decision to reveal information the Israelis did not want shared could make for tension during Trump's visit.

Neither the US nor Israel have confirmed the source of the intelligence was indeed Israel, as widely reported, but the Israelis have publicly refuted any talk of friction in the relationship. Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer reaffirmed Israel's "full confidence in our intelligence sharing relationship" after the bombshell revelation.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be at the top of the President's agenda as he meets with leaders from both sides. Trump, for his part, has ramped up expectations, expressing his optimism that a peace deal can finally be brokered to end the nearly 70-year-old conflict and even suggesting a resolution may not be so difficult to obtain after all.

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