Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Israeli forces raid West Bank, arrest at least 15 Palestinians

Israeli forces raid West Bank, arrest at least 15 Palestinians

In an interview with right-wing Israeli daily Israel Hayom, US President Donald Trump said the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital was a highlight of his first year in office and delivered ambiguous statements regarding future peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

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

"Some countries have consular presence in east and west Jerusalem, so I think that's where Canada needs to go and the whole question of the embassy is something we should watch and see how the Americans proceed".

"I think both sides will have to make hard compromises to reach a peace agreement", Trump added.

Asked whether the settlements will be part of the peace plan, Trump replied, "We will be talking about settlements". The Israeli settlement policies, which gathered pace following Trump's ascension to office, are widely supported by the United States ambassador to the country, David Friedman.

Protests erupted across the Middle East, and the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution, 128-9, opposing the US position.

"That money is on the table and that money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace", Trump said last month beside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Mr Trump's approach towards Israel has appeared to be more lenient than with the Palestinians, with whom he has tangled publicly since his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital past year.

In late January, Abbas addressed an African Union meeting in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, also calling on African states to join the multilateral mechanism to discuss the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestine will continue to seek a full membership in the United Nations despite the U.S. veto which seems even more inevitable under the current administration, Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Sputnik. S., but rules out a political dialogue after Washington recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

It's a sentiment Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O'Toole says he agrees with, also suggesting Canada increase its consular presence in the area.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Speaking further, the top official said that Palestine was cooperating with foreign partners, including Russian Federation, on elaborating a new multilateral format of the Israel-Palestine settlement and would welcome the convening of a large conference in Moscow.

The settlements are considered illegal under global law, though Israel disputes this.

When asked to name the most memorable event of his presidency, Trump was quoted as saying "I think Jerusalem was a very big point".

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