Trump greeted with selfies and politics on arrival in Israel

Posted: Updated:

By ILAN BEN ZION
Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) - President Donald Trump got an abrupt Israeli welcome on his arrival in Tel Aviv on Monday, with politicians lobbying him and snapping selfies as they sought to get a piece of the commander in chief's attention.

Walking down the red carpet upon landing at Ben-Gurion International Airport, the president was greeted by dignitaries exhibiting the blunt forwardness and informality for which Israelis are known. Trump asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu what protocol was as they approached the dais before delivering their speeches. Netanyahu threw up his hands and replied: "Who knows?"

The president arrived for a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, and politics surfaced just minutes after landing. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the nationalist Jewish Home party, was among the first ministers to shake hands with Trump, and took the opportunity to insist the United States should recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem while campaigning for president last year. Since taking office he's backed away from that promise, saying the issue needs more study. His response to Bennett was a curt "that's a good one."

Lawmaker Oren Hazan, a politician in Netanyahu's Likud party with a reputation for inappropriate antics, gave Trump a version of his own characteristically aggressive handshake. Hazan then whipped out a cell phone and took a selfie of the unamused-looking president. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted, unsuccessfully, to swat Hazan's arm away.

Likud politicians said after the incident that Hazan wasn't invited to the welcome ceremony, and that he "caused a great embarrassment to Netanyahu." A TV commentator called the scene "a disgrace."

Israel captured east Jerusalem 50 years ago and claims the area - home to sensitive Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites - as part of its capital. The Palestinians also claim east Jerusalem as their capital and previous U.S. administrations have said the area's fate must be decided through negotiations.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan informed Trump of a possible attack in Tel Aviv that transpired while the president was airborne. A car crashed into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring three people.

"You know that it's possible that today it was also a terror attack. We're still investigating a ramming in Tel Aviv," Erdan said, even though police had already said the incident was a car accident.

Before boarding the Marine One helicopter for Jerusalem, the premier's wife, Sara Netanyahu, told first lady Melania Trump that they had a lot in common with the Trumps.

"The majority of people in Israel, unlike the media, they love us, so we tell them how you are great, and they love you," Mrs. Netanyahu said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News 12 has recently updated to a brand new version of our iOS and Android apps.If you don’t have auto updates enabled on your devices, head to the App Store or Google Play Store to update to the latest version.This will ensure you keep getting up-to-date local news, traffic and weather information.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Trump decries monument removals, ‘history ripped apart’

    Trump decries monument removals, ‘history ripped apart’

    Thursday, August 17 2017 9:59 AM EDT2017-08-17 13:59:19 GMT
    Thursday, August 17 2017 12:48 PM EDT2017-08-17 16:48:40 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) In this Aug. 15, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump points to members of the media as he answers questions in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) In this Aug. 15, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump points to members of the media as he answers questions in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.

    President Donald Trump says it's "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart" with the removal of Confederate statues and monuments around the country.

    President Donald Trump says it's "Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart" with the removal of Confederate statues and monuments around the country.

  • President Trump disbands business advisory councils

    President Trump disbands business advisory councils

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 4:03 PM EDT2017-08-16 20:03:52 GMT
    President Donald Trump walks out of the elevator to speak in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 in New York.President Donald Trump walks out of the elevator to speak in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 in New York.

    With corporate chieftains fleeing, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is ending a pair of advisory business councils in the latest fallout over his remarks about the Charlottesville protests.

    With corporate chieftains fleeing, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday he is ending a pair of advisory business councils in the latest fallout over his remarks about the Charlottesville protests.

  • NJ congressional representatives hold bipartisan town hall

    NJ congressional representatives hold bipartisan town hall

    Tuesday, August 15 2017 10:32 PM EDT2017-08-16 02:32:22 GMT

    Three of New Jersey’s representatives in Congress held a bipartisan town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss military issues.

    Three of New Jersey’s representatives in Congress held a bipartisan town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss military issues.

sorry to interrupt
your first 5 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 5 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."