After Manchester attack, Trump tells Abbas: we must obliterate terrorists’ ideology

US leader spent the morning in Bethlehem meeting the Palestinian Authority President.


Donald Trump has spent the morning in Bethlehem meeting Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority.

The historic visit was overshadowed by the news of the terrorist attack in Manchester, with Mr Trump sending his condolences and declaring his “absolute solidarity” with the UK.

Speaking from the Palestinian city, Mr Trump told the world’s media: “The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever.

“This wicked ideology must be obliterated. And I mean, completely obliterated, and the innocent life must be protected. All innocent lives. Life must be protected.”

The two men met outside the presidential palace in Bethlehem and walked along a red carpet onto its grounds.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Mr Trump said he was committed to achieving peace, but added: “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded."

He added: "My thought are with the people of Manchester after this terrible terrorist attack. They were evil losers.

"I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that was a great name. I will call them losers from now on. And we’ll have more of them. But they’re losers, just remember that.”

The Palestinian leader asserted that the key to peace was freedom and independence.

He said: "The conflict is not between religions. Respecting religions is an integral part of our faith."

He said the Palestinians "fundamental problem is with the occupation, the settlements, and Israel's failure to recognise Palestine."

Mr Abbas also spoke about the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners calling on the Israeli government to "meet their humane and legitimate demands”.

Later this morning, Mr Trump will visit Yad Vashem, before heading for the Israel Museum where he will deliver an address. He will then head straight for the airport for his onward flight to the Vatican.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive