Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister: ‘Trump won’t force Israel-Palestinian deal’

Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely - i24news screenshot


view videoPalestinian ambassador to the UN vows to unleash a war of problems on the United States should president-elect Trump move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

By i24news


Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely said Sunday that Israelis were excited about the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States because he offers a “refreshing” new outlook that could benefit Israel.

Speaking exclusively to i24news, Hotovely said that Trump will offer a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process because he doesn’t see the conflict as the central focus of the Middle East and he will not use his power to force an agreement.

“For Israelis it’s very refreshing. For past 20 years we saw a stiff paradigm [in the US] of how Middle East should be, but this Middle East has collapsed,” she said. “Everything we knew is now changing. Radical Islam is taking over and this big shift is creating a big impact on Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Hotovely said that Trump recognizes this shift in the Middle East and will a offer a new approach to dealing with the conflict that will not be as hands-on as previous US presidents.

“The Palestinians are not interested in a Palestinian state,” the deputy minister said when asked about the prospects of finding a solution to the conflict. “The Palestinians for the past five years have been avoiding the negotiations table. Their leadership is not interested in a Palestinian state, and the people are not interested in a Palestinian state.”

Hotovely painted a bleak picture of what is going in Palestinian society. It’s “falling apart,” she said. “Radical Islam is taking over. When the Palestinians had free elections they chose Hamas. Over the next few years, Hamas or even ISIS could take control of the Palestinian people,” she said, while using what happened in Gaza as a warning.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting that Trump has expressed genuine friendship to Israel and that the two had agreed to meet soon. Netanyahu also said that he has asked all his ministers and MKs not to give interviews on the matter.

During her interview, Hotovely also discussed Trump’s intention to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump not only assured that the US will officially acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital, but also stated he will relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“Next year we are going to celebrate 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, and I’ll be happy if Trump moves the embassy to Jerusalem instead of Tel Aviv,” Hotovely said.

Palestinians warn Trump against relocated embassy

Meanwhile, Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said in Washington on Friday that if Trump goes through with the embassy move, the Palestinians would put up a fight.

“If people attack us by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, which is a violation of Security Council resolutions, it is a violation of resolution 181 of the UN general assembly that was drafted by the US… it means they are showing belligerency towards us … If they do that nobody should blame us for unleashing all of the weapons that we have in the UN to defend ourselves and we have a lot of weapons in the UN,” Mansour said.

Mansour said that it is “illegal to defy Security Council resolutions that the US is party to it that the unilateral action by Israel annexing East Jerusalem is illegal and it is null and void.”

If the US administration wants to defy international law they are doing something illegal” Mansour warned. “I hope they will do nothing. Many candidates gave the same election promise but didn’t implement it because what you do when you are campaigning is one thing but when you have to deal with the legal thing it is something else.”

The status of Jerusalem has been a contentious issue since Israel’s founding in 1948.

While Israel calls Jerusalem its capital, few other countries accept that. Most, including the United States, maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Palestinians want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in a 1967 war, as capital of the state they aim to establish alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


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