VIA| Donald Trump will have a personal meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a Dec. 28 trip to Israel, Israeli officials said Wednesday.
The Republican presidential candidate also may visit the Temple Mount, a major point of conflict between Israel and its Arab population.
Any visit to the site would be controversial in light of Trump’s call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the U.S. “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump said Monday.
An Arab member of the Israeli parliament said Trump should not visit the holy site because of those remarks.
“If Trump the racist plans to visit Al-Aksa, the holiest place in the world for Muslims, to harm the sensitivities of people against whom he incites, he and Netanyahu will be responsible. Such a visit will set the whole region on fire, I am warning,” Taleb Abu Arrar said.
Trump had said last week that a trip to Israel was in the planning stages.
“Very soon I’m going to Israel,” Trump said at a Dec. 3 rally. “I’m going to be meeting with Bibi Netanyahu who’s a great guy – I love Israel and will support it wholeheartedly.”
An Israeli official said Netanyahu “will meet with any candidate from any party who will be arriving in Israel and request a meeting.” The prime minister met with many Republican and Democratic members of Congress this summer, prior to the congressional vote on the Iranian nuclear treaty.
Trump has said that the Obama administration “was the worst thing that’s happened to Israel.”
Trump has also said that a nuclear deal reached with Iran in July could lead to another Holocaust. Netanyahu also opposed the deal and urged U.S. lawmakers to reject it.
“Israel was sold out by [Secretary of State John] Kerry and Obama,” Trump said in August. “You cannot let Iran have a nuclear weapon. You can’t have it. When they march down the street saying ‘Death to Israel. Death to the United States.’ You can’t let that happen.”