trump and the israelipalestinian conflict
Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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in its conflict with the Palestinians

Trump and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Trump and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Palestinian supporters of the Islamic Jihad movement protest in the Gaza Strip
Ramallah - Emiratesvoice

Since taking office, US President Donald Trump has shown unfailing support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, distancing himself from the two-state solution and recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

- Radio silence -

In January 2017, the White House refuses to comment on whether the president backs Israel's decision to approve 2,500 new settler homes in the West Bank.

"Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States," says spokesman Sean Spicer. "He wants to grow closer to Israel to make sure it gets the full respect in the Middle East."

The following day the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Saeb Erekat, says he is shocked by Trump's silence on the plans.

- First rupture -

In February the new president makes his first sharp break with previous US Middle East policy.

Welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington, he says the two-state solution to the conflict is not the only one possible to achieve peace.

In March, the Trump administration again breaks with years of diplomacy when a meeting goes ahead between his representative and those of Israeli settlers.

- Hard talk -

In March, addressing the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the new US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, vows to never allow "Israel-bashing" at the world body.

In May, Trump expresses optimism about the possibility of reaching a peace agreement when he hosts the first ever visit to the White House by the Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

"We will get it done," he says, remaining vague on specifics.

- Trump first at Western Wall -

During a two-day trip to Jerusalem in May, Trump hails the "unbreakable bond" between the United States and Israel.

He warns Israelis and Palestinians they "will face tough decisions" and urges "determination, compromise and the belief that peace is possible".

On the same trip he becomes the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall in the city, one of the most sacred sites in Judaism, also known as the Wailing Wall.

- 'Alleged occupation' -

In September the Palestinians attack as "unacceptable" comments made to Israel by US Ambassador David Friedman when he refers to the "alleged occupation" of the Palestinian territories.

Later that month, Friedman again provokes anger by downplaying Israel's 50-year occupation of the West Bank, claiming the Jewish state was "only occupying two percent" of the territory.

- 'Slap of the century' -

In a momentous announcement that breaks spectacularly with the policy of his predecessors, Trump in December recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Upending decades of US policy, Trump's decision provokes a wave of condemnation around the world with the exception of Israel itself.

Abbas accuses the United States of "deplorable and unacceptable measures" that "deliberately undermine all peace efforts".

In January 2018, Abbas is emphatic in his response to Trump's pledge to reach the "ultimate deal" in the conflict. "The deal of the century is the slap of the century and we will not accept it," he says.

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