Trump expects Israel to act 'reasonably' on peace process

Senior American official says Trump expects Israel to give him enough time to consult on how to move forward with peace talks.

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump expects Israel to act "reasonably" regarding the conflict with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and allow the U.S. enough time to hold consultations on the best path toward advancing the peace process, a senior U.S. official told Haaretz late on Monday.

The official’s comments came hours after Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the U.S. warned Israel against annexation of Judea and Samaria. The American official did not deny Liberman’s remarks but would not confirm them either.

"We are not going to speak publicly about the details of private communications between governments," the official told Haaretz.

However, he clarified that the U.S. is indeed not interested at this time in unilateral moves by either Israel or the PA that could damage American efforts to reignite peace talks.

"President Trump is committed to working with Israel and the Palestinians on a comprehensive peace deal that will allow both sides to live in the peace and security they deserve," the official told the newspaper.

"The administration needs to have the chance to fully consult with all parties on the way forward. We are just getting that process started. As the president has said, he would like to see a 'level of reasonableness of both parties,'" the official added.

Trump has prioritized the issue of Israel-PA peace, and even named his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his close adviser Jason Greenblatt to be in charge of the peace process. However, the Americans still haven't decided how to move forward, noted Haaretz.

Trump has thus far been unclear on how he sees the solution to the conflict. At his recent meeting in Washington with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Trump would not commit to the two-state solution as the only way to solve the conflict, saying he would back whatever solution the sides decide on.

"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” said Trump. “I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one."

His ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, later tempered this stance, saying Washington "absolutely" supports a two-state solution but is also interested in new ideas on how to move forward.

Trump then told Reuters in an interview he likes the concept of a two-state solution, but reiterated he would be “satisfied with whatever makes both parties happy.”