In an interview with the online news purveyor, Trump refuted the notion that halted expansion of Jewish settlements is a prerequisite for peace negotiations.
Contrary to the building magnate’s previous indication of neutrality on the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Trump rejected the proposal of a halt in new construction.
He asserted that Israel must continue to move forward with building projects, a position that directly contradicts that of both the Obama administration as well as the Palestinian peace-negotiating apparatus.
“Thousands of missiles [are] being launched into Israel. Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?” Trump said. “I’d love to negotiate peace. But I mean a lasting peace, not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again.”
In the past, Trump had maintained a position of neutrality on the conflict that he argued would afford him the ability to close the “deal of all deals” — a peace deal that would culminate in a two-state solution.
Trump’s new stance on settlement construction comes after former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton accused him of neutrality at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference in March.
“American can’t ever be neutral when it comes to Israel’s security or survival,” Clinton said. “Some things aren’t negotiable.”