The White House on Thursday warned Israel that new or expanded settlements in the West Bank would be an impediment to peace, signaling that the Trump administration would seek some continuity with past presidents on U.S. Middle East policy.
The statement comes as Netanyahu announced plans for the construction of 5,500 new settlements this week.
The following is the statement from the White House Press Secretary:
“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. 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 that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”
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