London -Presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump said on Monday that he supports further Israeli construction of settlements, Daily Mail reported.
This, the British newspaper said, coming out against the long-standing US demand that Israel halt all building in the West Bank, a demand that both President Barack Obama and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton have previously supported.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Trump called the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks “the toughest negotiation,” stating that “Israel was never properly treated” by the US. “I would love to see if peace could be negotiated,” he added.
If elected, Trump’s seemingly broad support of settlement development would constitute a dramatic shift in US foreign policy, as both Democratic and Republican US presidents have stated in the past that the settlements are illegal and no further building in them should be allowed.
Obama, in 2009, requested that Israel halt all expansion work in the settlements as a precondition to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
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Trump also expressed his support of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him “a very good guy” and saying that the two would most likely “have a very good relationship.”
He also mentioned how perplexed he is when speaking to Jewish friends who support Obama. “I think President Obama has been extremely bad to Israel,” he said, calling the US-brokered nuclear deal with Iran “a disaster for Israel.”