Trump cautions Israel's Netanyahu against building new settlements

Donald Trump tells Israel to cool it on the new settlements
(Image credit: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the White House issued a statement gently urging Israel to stop expanding its settlements in Palestinian territories, saying that "while we don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving" President Trump's goal of "peace throughout the Middle East region." Trump "has not taken an official position on settlement activity," added the statement, attributed to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, but Trump looks forward to discussing the issue when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House on Feb. 15.

The statement was a surprise, since Trump has surrounded himself with pro-settlement advisers and was strongly critical of President Barack Obama's Israeli policy, including opposition to expansion into territory globally recognized as belonging to the Palestinians. It followed a meeting Trump had on Thursday morning with King Abdullah II of Jordan, a key U.S. ally with an enormous stake in the peace process in neighboring Israel, and Netanyahu's pledge on Thursday to build the first new settlement in the occupied West Bank in many years.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us