Trump cancels one stop in Israel over helicopter landing

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President Trump has canceled a planned speech at the ancient mountain fortress of Masada in Israel after authorities refused to allow him to land his helicopter on top of the UNESCO-listed site.

The Hill reports that President Trump will no longer be appearing in Masada but he will instead speak at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on Monday.

According to multiple media outlets, Trump decided not to have his helicopter land at the base of the historic site and take a cable car up the mountain, which some presidents have done in the past. He opted to cancel the stop altogether. 

The offices of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Foreign Ministry have not yet commented on the matter, reports Newsweek.

Masada, also known as a “majestic beauty,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits upon a summit in the Judean Desert about 60 miles outside of Jerusalem.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) prohibits helicopters from landing at the summit of Masada because they stir up substantial dust, which can make landing a helicopter at the desert site extremely dangerous.

In 1997, an IAF landing at Masada reportedly kicked up enough wind to significantly damage the protected ruins, says The Jerusalem Post.

Trump’s trip, which marks his first foreign trip as commander-in-chief, also includes stops in Saudi Arabia and the Vatican.

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