Trump urges Israel to 'hold off' on settlements

2017-02-15 21:00
A new housing project being built in the Israeli settlement of Nili, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Gil Cohen-Magen, AFP)

A new housing project being built in the Israeli settlement of Nili, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Gil Cohen-Magen, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked Israel's prime minister to "hold off" on building Jewish settlements in land the Palestinians claim for their future state, yet held back from explicitly endorsing support for a future independent Palestine.

After weeks of dancing around the issue of expanded Israeli settlements, Trump made the request to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint news conference at the White House preceding their private discussions. It is Netanyahu's first trip to Washington since Trump became president.

While Trump's call echoed that of past US presidents, who've considered Israeli housing construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank an obstacle to a Middle East peace deal, the American leader broke with his predecessors on the idea of a two-state agreement. While such an accord may have once appeared to be the "easier of the two" options, Trump said he'd be open to alternatives if the two sides propose something better.

The two leaders were to discuss peace efforts as well as Iran and Trump's campaign pledge to move the U. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Relocating the embassy would signal American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that would infuriate Palestinians. They claim the eastern sector of the city, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, as their capital.

Trump said on Wednesday he'd like to see the embassy moved but that he is studying the issue closely.

American presidents have struck a delicate balance in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stressing the close US friendship with Israel and lavishing the Jewish state with bountiful aid. But recent presidents also have called out Israel for actions seen as undermining peace efforts, such as expanding settlements.


Read more on:    donald trump  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  us  |  middle east peace

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

Fascinating facts about dogs

Think you know a lot about dogs? How many of these facts do you know?

 
 

Paws

Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Fascinating facts about dogs
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.