Tags: donald trump | israel | masada

Masada Is Second Bump on Trump's Israel Road Trip

Image: Masada Is Second Bump on Trump's Israel Road Trip
People walk with the Masada fortress in the background. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)

Friday, 19 May 2017 05:31 AM

President Donald Trump won't be visiting Masada during his visit to Israel because authorities won't let him land his helicopter on the summit for a speech near the ancient mountain fortress overlooking the Dead Sea.

Trump will have to be content with a speech at the Israel Museum of Jerusalem instead, according to Newsweek.

Controversy rose earlier when American officials declined to allow Israeli leaders, including President Benjamin Netanyahu, to accompany Trump on the first visit of a sitting American president to the Western Wall, said The New York Times.

The Israeli Air Force prohibits helicopters from Masada's summit, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton visited the mountain site on the edge of the Judean Desert by taking a helicopter to the base of the mountain and then a cable car up to fortress, per Newsweek.

The fortress, built by King Herod and seen as the last stand of Jewish patriots in the face of the Roman army in 73 A.D., is recognized as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Landings on Masada's summit have been banned since 1997 when an Israeli Air Force helicopter carrying then U.S. Air Force Commander Gen. Michael Ryan damaged the ruins, said the Jerusalem Post.

"When Clinton visited in 1998, he came up with the old cable car and walked up 100 steps," Eitan Campbell, director of the Masada National Park, told the Post. "George W. Bush came by the new cable car. We were saved the 100 steps."

The visit to Israel comes as part of Trump's first overseas trip, which will include other stops in the Middle East, according to the Times. Trump has said he would like to make a deal that would finally bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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President Donald Trump won't be visiting Masada during his visit to Israel because authorities won't let him land his helicopter on the summit for a speech near the ancient mountain fortress overlooking the Dead Sea.
donald trump, israel, masada
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2017-31-19
 

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