US President Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority President Mahmud shake hands in the Roosevelt Room during a joint statement at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2017. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM
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President Donald Trump vowed Wednesday to work to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians as he hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House but offered no clues about how he could break the deadlock and revive stalled negotiations.The meeting with Abbas was another test of whether Trump, in office a little more than 100 days, is serious about pursuing what he has called the "ultimate deal" of Israeli-Palestinian peace that eluded his predecessors.Though expectations are low for significant progress, plans are being firmed up for Trump to visit the right-wing Israeli leader in occupied Jerusalem and possibly Abbas in the West Bank, targeted for May 22-23, according to people familiar with the matter.Abbas was under pressure at home to avoid making major concessions to Trump, especially with an ongoing hunger strike by several hundreds of Palestinian detainees held by Israel and led by prominent leader Marwan Barghouti.Palestinians are watching closely, including Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who called on Trump to break with past approaches to Middle East peace.
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