Global geopolitical series: Trump questions israelis and palestinian’s intention to make peace
In an interview with Israel Hayom daily, which was published on Sunday, President Trump once again criticized the Palestinian National Authority’s (PA), better known as Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) intention to make a peace agreement. While his criticism of PA is nothing new, what is catching media’s attention worldwide is that President Trump delivered a rare rebuke towards Israel by questioning its intention to make a peace agreement. He was quoted saying, “Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace. And I am not necessarily sure that Israel is looking to make peace. So we are just going to have to see what happens”. He added that while the United States remain firmly committed to the peace process, it is ultimately up to Israelis and Palestinian to decide on that.
Relations between the US and the Palestinians have taken a turn for the worse since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in last December. Since then he has cut U.S. funding to the UN agency (UNRWA) that assists Palestinian refugees and threatened to withhold aid money to the Palestinians unless they resume negotiations with Israel. The Palestinians, who claim Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital, saw Trump’s announcement as unfairly taking sides with Israel and in response, they said that the U.S. is not an honest broker and have pre-emptively rejected any peace proposal presented by the Trump administration.
Trump also delivered rare public criticisms towards Israeli settlements building at the West Bank, “The settlements are something that very much complicates and always have complicated making peace, so I think Israel has to be very careful with the settlements”.