Trump warns Israel that settlements 'complicate' peace hopes


But his comments about Israel mark rare criticism from a president who has publicly sparred with the Palestinians while forging warm ties with Israel ahead of the expected presentation of a United States peace outline.

President Trump added that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria would be addressed by the peace plan, and urged Israel to be "very careful with the settlements", arguing that they "complicate making peace".

"And I am not necessarily sure that Israel is looking to make peace".

"We are going to see what goes on", Trump told "Israel Hayom" in an interview released Sunday.

Trump said this in an interview with the Israeli daily, Israel Hayom, where he said "Palestinians are not committed to making peace, but Im not sure about the Israelis".

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

The United States' role as a broker in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has come under fire following the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December, upending seven decades of U.S. foreign policy.

Trump's ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has in the past been a supporter of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. "We will see what happens, but I think it is very foolish for the Palestinians and I also think it would be very foolish for the Israelis if they don't make a deal", Trump said.

When asked about the meaning of his statement in Davos that the Jerusalem issue had been taken "off the table", Trump said, "By taking Jerusalem off the table I wanted to make it clear that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and as for specific boundaries would support what both sides agreed to".

"The settlements complicate on a different level - and it's always complicated - in making peace, so Israel needs to act with caution on the topic of settlements", Trump said.

Asked whether Israeli settlements would form part of the peace plan, he said: "We will be talking about settlements".