The White House warned Israel on Thursday to cease settlement announcements that are “unilateral” and “undermining” of President Donald Trump’s effort to forge Middle East peace, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.
For the first time, the administration confirmed that Trump is committed to a comprehensive two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict negotiated between the parties.
The official told the Post that the White House was not consulted on Israel’s unprecedented announcement of 5,500 new settlement housing units over the course of his first two weeks in office.
“As President Trump has made clear, he is very interested in reaching a deal that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is currently exploring the best means of making progress toward that goal,” the official said.
"With that in mind, we urge all parties to refrain from taking unilateral actions that could undermine our ability to make progress, including settlement announcements,” the official added.
“The administration needs to have the chance to fully consult with all parties on the way forward.”
Trump plans to bring up the peace process in his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House scheduled for February 15.
Trump looks forward to those discussions, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in response to this report.
"The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years," Spicer said.
"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."
All of us, every single man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth were born with the same unalienable rights; to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, if the governments of the world can't get that through their thick skulls, then, regime change will be necessary.
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IBA Quote of the Week.
"We are looking forward to the day when moderate Muslims will be able to take control of their governments, their educational systems, and their law and order, so the Western world could resume mutual constructive relations based on friendship and respect. The whole world is looking forward to that day and praying for a peaceful Middle East. The ball is now in the Muslim world's court."
-- President Elect Donald J. Trump
"An Islamic regime must be serious in every field," explained Ayatollah Khomeini. "There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam."
"I want to be very, very clear, however: I understand and agree with the analysis of the problem. There is an imminent threat. It manifested itself on 9/11. It's real and grave. It is as serious a threat as Stalinism and National Socialism were. Let's not pretend it isn't." ~~~~~Bono~~~~~