Palestine

Vice President Pence says the U.S. will complete the plan to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, announcing a faster timeline for opening the embassy than had been previously reported. Pence announced the new deadline during his visit to Israel.

"In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem — and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year," Pence said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says his people no longer want the U.S. involved in brokering any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, after President Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital last week.

Abbas called Trump's actions a crime and said he'll appeal to the United Nations.

President Trump emphasized his commitment to end the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying there's a "very good chance" for a peace deal and vowing to do "whatever is necessary to facilitate the agreement."

Trump's remarks came in a joint statement following a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on Wednesday.

"We'll start a process which hopefully will lead to peace," Trump said, standing alongside the Palestinian leader.

The Madrid Conference of 1991 was an attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel, Palestine, and neighboring Arab countries. With quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East, Palestinian militants now targeting Tel Aviv with missiles, Commentator and History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy says now is the time for the White House to initiate a second Madrid Conference.