Trump: Not sure Israel truly wants peace, settlements ‘complicate’ peacemaking

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, February 9, 2018. SAUL LOEB/AFP)
US president tells Israel Hayom both sides would be ‚foolish‘ to not seize unique opportunity for deal; Palestinians are not seeking accord

By AFP and TOI staff | The Times of Israel

US President Donald Trump said in an interview published on Sunday that he is “not necessarily sure” Israel is genuinely seeking to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Trump has previously denounced the Palestinians for what he sees as their unwillingness to negotiate, but he has largely refrained from criticizing Israel.

Speaking to the freebie daily Israel Hayom, Trump noted that while US-Israel relations were “great,” peace with the Palestinians would make them “a lot better.”

“Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace. They are not looking to make peace,” Trump said in the interview with the right-wing paper. “And I am not necessarily sure that Israel is looking to make peace. So we are just going to have to see what happens.”

Trump also expressed concerns about Israeli settlement building, although his administration has been far less critical of settlements than that of his predecessor Barack Obama.

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