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February 12, 2017 12:24 pm

Trump Says Settlements ‘Don’t Help’ Peace Process, Still ‘Studying’ Embassy Move

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President Donald Trump. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

President Donald Trump. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – In an interview with the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom on Friday, US President Donald Trump said he believes settlements “don’t help the [peace] process,” and that he is still “studying” the potential move of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“There is so much land left,” he said. “And every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left.”

Trump’s comment, which echoes a statement made by the administration earlier this month, comes days after the Knesset passed the Regulation Law, which retroactively legalizes outposts throughout the West Bank. The law’s critics at home and abroad claim the measure is unconstitutional and will likely be overturned by the Israeli High Court.

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However, Trump said, “I don’t want to condemn Israel. Israel has had a long history of condemnation and difficulty. And I don’t want to be condemning Israel. I understand Israel very well, and I respect Israel a lot, and they have been through a lot.”

Trump also praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “good man” with whom he has “always had good chemistry.”

Trump and Netanyahu are scheduled to meet Feb. 15 at the White House.

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