January 23, 2019

Trump Israeli settlements 'complicates' peace prospects with Palestinians

12 February 2018, 12:49 | Devin Moran

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"Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace".

The Palestinian envoy to Moscow, Abd al Hafiz Nofal, said on February 11 that the Palestinians were not looking to exclude the United States from the peace process, "only asking that other parties join" as well.

Trump's election, Friedman said, had brought about an "incredible change" in the US-Israel alliance.

Speaking to the Israel Hayom newspaper, President Trump has made comments all but unheard of among top U.S. officials, openly questioning whether Israel "is genuinely seeking to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians".

After that, according to Shaath, a new worldwide conference modeled on the Madrid Conference of 1991 could be convened, prompting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with smaller memberships, as it happened during the negotiations between six world powers and Iran on the latter's nuclear program.

The president added that as part of the plan, "We will be talking about settlements".

"The settlements", he told Israel Hayom editor-in-chief Boaz Bismuth, "are something that very much complicate and always have complicated making peace, so I think Israel has to be very careful with the settlements".

Al-Khalidi said that the Abbas-Putin meeting was "important" because it comes on the eve of the PA president's address before the UN General Assembly later this month.

The US' role as a broker in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has come under fire following the Trump administration's decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, upending seven decades of US foreign policy, CNN reported.

Palestinians see the USA decision, which broke with years of global diplomacy, as a denial of their claim to East Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual Palestinian state.

"I think what we are seeing here is not the end of the USA role as an honest broker because it never was an honest broker", she told Al Jazeera.

He pointed out that Russia's membership in the UN Security Council and the Mideast Quartet for peace enables it to play an active role in any effort to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

Palestinians collect food aid at a United Nations food distribution center in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on January 28, 2018.

According to Shaath, Palestine continues contacts with the United States, but rules out a political dialogue after Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"I think it should be a bipartisan issue", Danon said Friday.

In a rare criticism of the Israeli leadership, the U.S. president questioned Israel's commitment to making peace with the Palestinians.

"Russia and Putin can play an important role within the frame of an global forum for peace", Majdi al-Khalidi, an adviser to Abbas, was quoted by The Times of Israel as saying.

Israel and the United States have long opposed an worldwide effort involving the United Nations in peace negotiations, expressing concerns it would be biased against Israel. "When I think of the likely consequences I think this is more ambivalent", Gabriel said.

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