There will be no visit to the mountain fortress of Masada in Israel after all for President Donald Trump after he was told he couldn't land his helicopter on top of the site.
Trump refused to visit the Masada National Park because "it was too hot" and he would have to travel using a cable auto - even though other presidents including Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama have travelled to the site in cable cars.
Trump was supposed to speak at the ancient and historic mountain fortress of Masada during his upcoming foreign trip, but he will instead speak at the Israel Museum, which apparently can accommodate Trump's chopper. The decision by the authorities came after an incident took place in 1997 when a military helicopter landed in the middle of Masada and caused damaged to the ruins. The fortress became a symbol of Jewish heroism after dozens of Jews there chose to kill themselves, 960 in total, rather than surrender to the Romans in 70 AD. The Israeli Foreign Ministry also declined to comment on Trump's schedule.
"@IsraelMuseum. The Dead Sea Scrolls make an important setting".
Since then, the only plane on Masada was a Cessna light aircraft that accidentally crashed into the site in 2006.
The former president and Netanyahu had a fraught relationship during his term because of stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. It was carrying then-US Air Force commander Gen. Michael Ryan who had asked to visit the fortress, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During the nine-day, five-city foreign trip, he will travel to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium, Italy and the Vatican.
The plans for the visit have also drawn criticism, because only 15 minutes are allocated to visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum, and because a senior USA official harshly rebuffed a request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu come with Trump to visit the Western Wall, Channel 2 reported. USA does not consider the West Bank a part of Israeli land.
The declaration sparked Israel's anger and a call from the government for an explanation from the White House, which subsequently said that this was not Trump's position.