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In Donald Trump's view, the settlement complicates the Middle East peace process. In an interview, he expressed doubts as to whether Israel was interested in peace.

Middle East: Trump criticizes Israel's settlement policy

In Donald Trump's view, the settlement complicates the Middle East peace process. In an interview, he expressed doubts as to whether Israel was interested in peace.

Middle East: Trump criticizes Israel's settlement policy

US president Donald Trump has described Israeli settlement in Palestinian territories as an obstacle to peace. In an interview with Israeli newspaper Hajom, Trump said he was "not necessarily sure that Israel is interested in making peace". The settlements made a peace deal much harder, Trump said. That has always been case. "I believe that Israel must be very careful with settlements," said president. The newspaper Hajom is owned by American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who supports both Trump and Israel. 

On Palestinians, Trump told Leaf that he was sure y didn't want peace. The Palestinians are "not on peace," he said. To proceed furr in conflict, Trump said: "Frankly, I don't know if re will be any talks at all." However, it would be "stupid" of Israelis like Palestinians, y would not conclude a peace agreement. However, both sides would have to make "tough compromises", says Trump.

"Obama was awful"

In interview, US president once again defended his decision from beginning of December to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel. This was one of highlights of his previous tenure and was very important to many people, Trump said. He made a big promise.

At same time, Trump criticized policy of his predecessor, Barack Obama, in particular conclusion of nuclear agreement with Iran. The Atomdeal was "catastrophic" for Israel, Trump said: "Obama was awful." The current relationship between Israel and US is very good, Trump said. In case of a peace agreement, however, y would still be "much better", according to president.

In conflict between Israel, Palestinians and Arab neighbours, dispute over status of Jerusalem is one of most sensitive issues. Israel had occupied eastern part of Jerusalem 1967 and later annexed it. This has never been acknowledged by international community. Israel claims all Jerusalem as its capital, Palestinians want to make eastern part of city capital of a future Palestinian state. Trump's decision from beginning of December had been harshly criticised by Palestinian leadership, but also internationally, and had provoked protests worldwide.

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