Donald Trump
Donald Trump Reuters

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has said Israel should continue building in Judea and Samaria, insisting the Jewish state should "keep moving forward" in response to Arab terrorism.

Speaking to the UK's Daily Mail, Trump emphasized his support for the State of Israel, and appeared to veer away from previous comments in which he declared that he would stay "neutral" on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Trump referenced the "thousands of missiles being launched into Israel," by Arab terrorists prior to the 2014 Gaza war, asking rhetorically: "Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it?"

He also said he would sharply depart from the policies of the current White House, which has put enormous pressure on Israel to halt all construction - in Jewish areas only - in Judea and Samaria.

Asked if he similarly thought a building freeze was a good idea, Trump responded: "No, I don't think it is, because I think Israel should have – they really have to keep going. They have to keep moving forward."


"No, I don't think there should be a pause," the GOP frontrunner added, while leveling criticism against the Obama administration for its treatment of Israel.

"Look: Missiles were launched into Israel, and Israel, I think, never was properly treated by our country. I mean, do you know what that is, how devastating that is?"

He did repeat his intention to negotiate a peace deal, however, but cautioned he would only do so if he believed the deal would be a permanent one.

"With all of that being said, I would love to see if peace could be negotiated. A lot of people say that's not a deal that's possible. But I mean lasting peace, not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again. So we'll see what happens," Trump continued.

He also underlined his good personal relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - despite the latter's criticism of him last year for his comments about banning Muslim immigration, which eventually scuppered the billionaire's planned visit to Israel. 

Trump praised Netanyahu as "a very good guy," and again attacked Obama for his hostile treatment of the Israeli leader.

"I don't know him that well, but I think I'd have a very good relationship with him," Trump said of Netanyahu, for whom he made an endorsement video during last year's Israeli general election.

"I think that President Obama has been extremely bad to Israel."

Trump also repeated his oft-stated astonishment over Jews who continue to support Obama despite his hostility towards Israel.

"I don't even understand where – I have Jewish friends that support Obama. I tell them all the time, I say, 'What are you doing? The Iran deal is a disaster for Israel,'" he said.

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