Israel refuses Trump Helicopter landing on Masada

Trump refuses to go to the mountaintop fortress of Masada in Israel unless he can land by helicopter

Trump's aides were told that landing a helicopter on the summit of Masada would harm archaeological artifacts at the site, due to the wind movements when helicopters land and take off. Trump's preparation team was asked to land the helicopter at the base of Masada and to go up the mountain in a cable auto just as former United States president George Bush did in the past.

UNESCO calls the fortress, which is about 60 miles southeast of Jerusalem, a "majestic beauty". The Israeli Foreign Ministry also declined to comment on Trump's schedule.

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

A scheduled speech at the hilltop site of the ancient Masada fortress in Israel cancelled after Trump team told that helicopters are banned from the area.

Trump's stop in Israel is part of his first foreign trip as president, which includes visits to Saudi Arabia and the Vatican, as he visits the centers of three major world religions.

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President Donald Trump is busy preparing for his first foreign trip since assuming office.

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 US official harshly rebuffed a request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu come with Trump to visit the Western Wall, Channel 2 reported.

The ancient site became a symbol of Jewish heroism after dozens of Jews - 960 in total - there chose to kill themselves, rather than surrender to the Romans in 70 AD.

Unlike former presidents who have made the trip, such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Trump declined to land the helicopter at a base of the historic site and then take the cable auto up, preferring to cancel the visit altogether. "We were saved the 100 steps", said Eitan Campbell, director of the National Masada Park. Trump has canceled his visit to the site after Israel said he could not land his helicopter on top of the site.

'George W. Bush came by the new cable auto. US does not consider the West Bank a part of Israeli land. Trump officials reiterated that it was not Trump's position.

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