(The Daily Signal) President Donald Trump said he wants Israel to “hold back” on additional settlements during a joint press conference Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” Trump said to Netanyahu in reference to a potential deal with Palestine.
“We’ll work something out, but I would like to see a deal be made, I think a deal will be made,” Trump said.
In December, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution, which the Obama administration abstained from, to condemn Israel for settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
“Smart man, great negotiator, and I think we’re going to make a deal,” Trump said of Netanyahu regarding a potential agreement with Palestinians. “It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand. That’s a possibility so let’s see what we do.”
Netanyahu said there are bigger issues than settlements.
“I believe that the issue of the settlements is not the core of the conflict, nor does it really drive the conflict,” the prime minister said. “I think it’s an issue that has to be resolved in the context of peace negotiations.”
The two leaders’ meeting marked a welcome change from the Obama administration, said Gregg Roman, director of the Middle East Forum, a pro-Israel group.
“Today’s joint news conference is not a reset, but a catalytic move forward for the U.S. and Israel,” Roman said in a public statement.
In a departure from previous U.S. policy, Trump said he is not exclusively committed to a two-state solution in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians—but rather to what will work….