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The New Arab

Trump 'declines proposal' to mark 1967 war in Israel

Trump is scheduled to visit Israel on May 22. [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 May, 2017

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The White House has reportedly rejected a proposal by Israel to delay President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The White House has reportedly rejected a proposal by Israel to delay President Donald Trump's upcoming visit to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Trump is currently scheduled to visit Israel on May 22 but Israeli officials wanted the US to rearrange the trip to coincide with war anniversary celebrations, London-based Saudi newspaper Al-Hayat reported Saturday.

The White House refused the proposal due to scheduling constraints and concerns that rearranging the trip would make the US appear biased in ongoing attempts to revive the peace process, the paper cited unnamed Western sources as saying.

There has been no official Israeli confirmation of the alleged request.

On Thursday, Trump announced his first overseas tour as US president with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican all on his travel itinerary later this month.

Trump's aides told AFP the visit to Saudi Arabia is an attempt to reach out to the Muslim world after the president's controversial comments about the religion and its followers during his election campaign.

But the timing of the trip to Israel has raised speculation that the visit could signal a major announcement after Trump has repeatedly stated his intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Day on May 23 is a national holiday in Israel marking the 'reunification' of the city after East Jerusalem's capture from Jordan.

The 1967 Arab-Israeli war had an immeasurable impact on the Middle East and is referred to by many in the Arab world as 'al-Naksa' (the setback).

The six day military victory led to the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights, all of which continue to this day.

Israel also occupied the Sinai Peninsula but later withdrew its troops in 1982 as part of a peace deal with Egypt.

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