Trump urges Israel to 'act reasonably' on settlements

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem

Trump said in his Israel Hayom interview that the US and Israel 'are going to have a better relationship, ' during his presidency.

'The embassy is not an easy decision. I'm sure it will finally happen after so many years.

He is scheduled to meet next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, where settlements and the disposition of the US embassy will nearly certainly come up in bilateral talks.

Now Trump is adopting a more measured stance.

Trump's interview was published after he met with Adelson for dinner at the White House Thursday night.

Trump named Friedman to be the Israel ambassador in December, but a date has yet to be set for his approval hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state in the territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Gaza Strip, with East al-Quds as its capital. However, Israel refuses to recognize its independence.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has warned Trump that moving the embassy would be "disastrous".

A recently approved apartment building in a West Bank settlement reportedly was funded by an organization headed by David Friedman, President Donald Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel. I don't want to condemn Israel during my term. I want peace between Israelis and Palestinians and even more than that.

'We've always had good chemistry, ' he said of his conversations with Netanyahu, 'and he is a good man.

During their meeting, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Mahmoud Abbas will also take stock of the situation in Jerusalem and in the Palestinian Territories, notably in light of the most recent Israeli announcements regarding settlement activities. "But no, I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace". But we are looking at that, and we are looking at some other options we'll see.

In the interview with Israel Hayom - a widely circulated free newspaper owned by Netanyahu's patron, the Vegas casino magnate and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson - Trump offered new insights into his thinking on the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

Trump's comments are the strongest suggestion to date that he will adhere to the decades-long USA policy of pushing for a two-state solution that involves land concessions by Israel.

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