FRICTION

Israel Hits Back at Trump Over Settlement Intervention

Israel hit back at President Trump on Friday after the White House warned that new settlement construction might threaten the chances of peace in the region. An unexpected statement released by the Trump administration on Thursday said that expanding Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank might be unhelpful. “While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in the statement, “the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.” Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely claimed that the statement contradicted itself. “The White House itself holds that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace and they never have been. It must be concluded therefore that expansion of construction is not the problem.”