United States President Donald Trump said in an interview published on Sunday that he is “not always sure” Israel is genuinely looking for to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Trump has previously denounced the Palestinians for what he views as their hesitation to negotiate, but he has actually mostly refrained from criticizing Israel.
“Today, I would state the Palestinians are not looking to make peace. They are not planning to make peace,” Trump said in the interview with the conservative paper. “And I am not always sure that Israel is seeking to make peace. We are simply going to have to see exactly what takes place.”
Trump also revealed concerns about Israeli settlement structure, although his administration has actually been far less critical of settlements than that of his predecessor Barack Obama.American Ambassador
to Israel David Friedman participates in the lobby for Israel-US relations at the Knesset on July 25, 2017.(Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)Trump’s ambassador to Israel,
David Friedman, has in the past been an advocate of settlements in the West Bank.”The settlements are something
that very much complicates and always have actually made complex making peace, so I think Israel has to be very mindful with the settlements,”Trump said.Trump has stated he means to bring the Israelis and Palestinians to
the”supreme offer” that would solve the decades-long conflict, however in the interview he questioned whether negotiations were even possible for the time being.” I don’t understand honestly if we are going to even have talks.
We will see exactly what occurs, but I think it is extremely absurd for the Palestinians and I also think it would be very absurd for the Israelis if they don’t negotiate, “Trump stated.”It’s our only chance and it will never ever happen after this. “Relations between Washington and the Palestinians have actually been badly strained given that Trump’s December 6 choice to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American embassy there. In an address from the White Home, Trump explained his choice to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.At the time, Trump worried that he was not specifying the borders of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and required no
change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites. Later, nevertheless, he said numerous times that his choice had taken Jerusalem “off the table. “Palestinian leaders say there can be no peace talks involving the US administration up until its decision on the city, whose eastern communities
they claim for a future capital, is reversed.Trump is likewise withholding 10s of millions of dollars from UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.Palestinians gather aid parcels at a United Nations food circulation center in Khan Yunis in the southern
Gaza Strip, January 28, 2018. (SAID KHATIB/AFP) In his Israel Hayom interview, Trump declined to talk about whether the US
would cut off support to countries that boycott Israel.”I do not wish to state that due to the fact that you know, some countries possibly and some nations not, “he said.”I just don’t want
to talk about that.”The United States leader spoke also about the Obama administration’s ties with Israel and the 2015 Iran nuclear offer, which he has actually vowed to
see altered to prevent the Iranians from producing or getting nuclear weapons in the future. “I indicate you certainly weren’t very close with Obama, he gave you the Iran offer, which generally is a deal that says let’s ultimately do bad things to Israel, “Trump said.” Obama was terrible. He was absolutely horrible for Israel. I believe our relationships [US-Israel] are excellent. I think they are probably as great as they have ever been. “