Trump says Israeli settlements not 'good for peace'
- Author: Jon Douglas Feb 11, 2017,
Feb 11, 2017, 0:15
US President Donald Trump does not believe Israeli settlement growth in Palestinian territories is "good for peace", he told a paper Friday, in his most direct comments on the matter since inauguration.
Trump's comments to Israel Today come as he tones down his pro-Israel bravado ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trip to the White House on February 15.
Bishop William Shomali, Patriachal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for the Holy City and Palestine has strongly condemned the law passed yesterday in the Israeli parliament, which "legalised" houses and Israeli settlements built illegally on Palestinian territory illegally occupied by the army of Israel.
On the transfer of the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump said that he was considering it and that it is "not an easy decision". "No one wants to make this decision, and I'm thinking about it seriously".
Arab leaders have warned Trump that moving the embassy to Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim, would lead to angry and possibly violent reactions because it would be seen as prejudging a final settlement between the two sides. I want peace between Israelis and Palestinians and even more than that.
"He wants to do the right thing for Israel", Trump said, adding, "I believe that he wants peace and wants to have it badly". "And every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left". "But we are examining a number of options".
Afterward, the White House released a statement that broke with past administrations by saying that the president did not view settlements as an obstacle to peace. People have been in that process for many decades, and it has been going a long for a long time.
Responding to the question of whether his administration would criticise Israel, he said: "Israel has a long history of condemnations and difficulties. I don't agree. I think we can reach an agreement and that we need to reach an agreement", he said. And I don't want to be condemning Israel.
It's widely been reported that Israel Hayom belongs to conservative megadonor Sheldon Adelson, but in an Israeli Supreme Court case, his attorney said it was owned by an Adelson relative, according to Israeli media reports.