Trump adviser says Israeli settlements not obstacle to peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement Wednesday morning congratulating America's president-elect.

In a congratulatory message, Netanyahu called Trump "a true friend of the State of Israel".

"Israel, Russia, the United States and many other countries share the objective of defeating the Islamic State", Netanyahu said. "I am sure that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique bond between Israel and the USA and we will bring them to greater heights", he added.

"It was a campaign promise and there is every intention to keep it", Trump's Mideast adviser David Friedman told the Jerusalem Post.

In an interview with Israel's Army Radio, Jason's Greenblatt, co-chairman of the Trump campaign's Israel Advisory Committee, said: "It is certainly not Mr. Trump's view that settlement activities should be condemned and that it is an obstacle for peace, because it is not an obstacle for peace".

"We are sure that the unbounded support will continue for Israel, but can not determine how exactly the American administration will react to the conflict".

A Palestinian walks past a souvenir shop displaying T-shirts bearing images of US President Barack Obama, right, wearing a kaffiyeh and president-elect Donald Trump, left, dressed as a Hasidic Jew for sale in a souvenir shop in Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday. That is something his three predecessors have failed to do since the passage of the Jerusalem Act in 1995.

Hard-line lawmakers, including some from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, said Trump's win represented a "historic opportunity" to abandon ideas of Palestinian statehood and move toward annexing the West Bank. The Israeli minister noted that, due to political pressure from the US, settlement expansion had not gone as planned in these areas, and the election presents an opportunity to work without obstruction.

The telephone conversation between the two wives came three days after Trump spoke with Netanyahu and invited the Israeli leader to Washington at the "first opportunity".

It is not astonishing that Israeli officials moved to expand the settlements after Trump's victory. The direction the American people are going in, and with them the rest of the world, is the problem.

Tayseer Khaled, a prominent member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), wrote on his Facebook page that American elections inevitably influence the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinian Authority pledged to work with Trump to establish a Palestinian state.

And many of Trump's comments over the course of this presidential election cycle indeed suggested he would be a friend to Israel, at least insofar as Netanyahu's right-wing government understands friendship.

Hamas, the terrorist entity that controls Gaza, said it did not expect a change in how America views the Palestinians.

Addressing the USA president-elect, Meshaal said, "There can be no stability in the [Middle East] region without recognizing the rights of Palestine".

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