Friedman: Trump is responsible for improvement in US-Israel ties


"Right now the Palestinians aren't willing to to make peace, they're not". He said that the Palestinians "are not interested in making peace" and that he was not sure the Israelis were either.

"I do not and can not say specifically what the president was referring to, but to the best of my knowledge, the things we work on with Malaysia are ongoing".

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations on February 8 suggested that China and Arab League could also be part of any future "peace process" on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The official noted that the USA has opposed holding an worldwide conference for peace in the Middle East, insisting on direct talks between the Palestinian and Israeli officials as the preferred method. While asked about his comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos that "Jerusalem is off the table" in terms of negotiations, he said, "I wanted to make it clear that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel".

The unilateral U.S. decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was challenged at the UN General Assembly where 128 nations, including India, voted to turn down the move as "null and void".

Relations between the US President Donald Trump's administration and the PA have been strained since a December 6 announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestinians seek a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967, but no meaningful talks on statehood through a partition deal have been held for nearly a decade.

Palestinian journalists often describe their work as a form of "resistance", as they believe their stories show the world the devastating effects of Israel's policies on Palestinians and provide Palestinians an outlet for their voices in a media climate that is often overshadowed by pro-Israeli narratives.

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Top Palestinian officials condemned the move, saying it disqualified the United States from playing the role of arbiter.

He told the free daily Israel Hayom newspaper in an interview Sunday, "You are going to see".

Trump also said that Israeli settlement building in the West Bank complicates peacemaking efforts - a slight backtrack on his previous assertion that settlements do not pose an obstacle to reaching a deal.

Not only has Jerusalem been considered home for Jewish people for thousands of years, the city also houses the Supreme Court and Israel's foreign affairs and government ministries, O'Toole explained. "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.

Shaath said: "so far there is really very little contact".

"I think, yes. We are discussing such option", Shaath said, when asked about the possibility of the PNA's dissolution.

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