Trump: Israel agreed to suspend settlements

US Pres. Trump says Israel's agreement to 'suspend settlements' is 'big deal,' praises it as 'bold step towards achieving peace.'

Nitzan Keidar ,

President Trump
President Trump

US President Donald Trump on Thursday responded to the agreement signed between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, saying that Israel has agreed not to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

In a press briefing, Trump said, "Israel is also suspending settlements in the West Bank, which is a big deal — a bold step toward achieving peace."

However, he added that sovereignty is "not off the table. No."

"It’s something they’ve discussed, but Israel has agreed not to do that," he explained. "I mean, more than just off the table, they have agreed not to do it. And I think that was very important, and I think it was a great concession by Israel, and I think it was a very smart concession by Israel."

When asked if it was off the table permanently, Trump added: "No, right now, all I can say: It’s off the table. So I can’t talk about some time into the future; that’s a big statement."

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who was also speaking at the briefing, emphasized that "the word 'suspend' was chosen carefully by all the parties. 'Suspend,' by definition — look it up — that means 'temporary halt.' It’s off the table now, but it’s not off the table permanently."

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said: "Just as I brought peace with an Arab state, so too will I apply sovereignty."

"I’m committed to sovereignty. I’m committed to the Land of Israel, and I will never surrender our rights to this land. President Trump and his team requested a temporary - and I repeat, temporary - delay so that the peace process can move forward, and I agreed."