Netanyahu Plans February Visit to Meet Trump in Washington

Netanyahu Plans February Visit to Meet Trump in Washington

The new president and his team have warmly embraced the euphoria with one Trump adviser on the weekend signalling an eventual Israeli takeover of the West Bank.

Trump has signalled strong support for Israel, and Israeli right-wing politicians have sought to take advantage, with hardliners calling for an end to the idea of a Palestinian state.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he hopes the Trump administration will be more supportive of settlements than the Obama administration. Settlements were a source of bitterness in relations between the governments.

His pick for ambassador to the country, David Friedman, is strongly pro-settlements.

A Hamas spokesperson is warning President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHamas warns Trump not to move embassy to Jerusalem How the public can shape Trump on Twitter Words matter, President Trump MORE that following through with his promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would "add more oil on the fire" in the region, Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday. Annexing it would almost sever the West Bank between north and south. "We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject", he said.

The political pressure has left Netanyahu in the awkward position of the party pooper.

As the Trump administration took steps toward relocating the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, Trump, on his second full day in office, spoke over phone to Netanyahu and discussed ways to ensure security and stability in the Middle East.

During the U.S. election campaign, Trump indicated he would dispense with former president Barack Obama's opposition to settlement building, a stance that delighted prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government.

A terrorism expert is praising President Donald Trump for quickly scheduling a face-to-face meeting with Israeli's prime minister.

Netanyahu Plans February Visit to Meet Trump in Washington

White House spokesman Sean Spicer did not answer directly when asked about Trump's reaction.

In his first call with Netanyahu since taking office on Friday, Trump stressed his "unprecedented commitment to Israel's security".

Arab and European diplomats said there have been signs Trump and his advisers could slow down implementing a formal relocation amid warnings from Arab and European officials to the incoming administration that the move could unleash violence, undermine the peace process, damage United States standing in the Middle East, and endanger American personnel. Building is planned in the neighbourhoods of Ramot, Pisgat Zeev and Ramat Shlomo.

The U.S. and most other countries have refused to recognize the annexation and kept their embassies in or around Tel Aviv.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the building announcement and called on the Security Council for "urgent action".

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turjeman wrote on his Facebook page that that the new building approved on Sunday was timed to herald the change in the US administration and that it was "just the starting gun".

Despite condemnation from the rest of the world, Israel on Tuesday made its second announcement in two days of plans to construct new settlements in another of the territories beyond its 1967 borders.

In a message posted on his Facebook page on January 21, Netanyahu said, "I plan to speak soon with President Trump about how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime which calls for Israel's destruction".

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