Trump Weighs In on Israeli Settlements While White House Stays Mum

The U.N. will no longer vote on a proposal to halt Israeli settlements.

ByABC News
December 22, 2016, 1:39 PM

— -- Egypt today pulled a resolution in the United Nations calling on Israel to "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem" — a measure President-elect Donald Trump said should be rejected.

While Barack Obama's administration had yet to comment on the matter, Trump weighed in via social media before the resolution, before the Security Council, was tabled.

"As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations," Trump said in a statement on Facebook. "This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis."

Trump's stance on the matter should come as no surprise. David Friedman, Trump's newly selected pick to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel, opposes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, supports Israeli settlements, advocates for Israel's annexation of the West Bank and maintains that the Palestinian territories are not occupied.

He also believes, as Trump has stated, that the U.S. Embassy in Israel should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus recognizing the disputed city as Israel's capital. Doing so would represent a shift in long-standing U.S. policy, which maintains that no state has sovereignty over Jerusalem and that moving the embassy there risks prejudging the outcome of final status negotiations.

The State Department refused to comment on Trump's statements or say how the U.S. would have voted on the now tabled resolution, but the U.S. has long maintained that while not all settlements are illegal, they are an impediment to the peace process.

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