During his meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday and in speeches throughout the day, President Donald Trump notably omitted any mention of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump rebuked Palestinian leaders in a joint press conference with Abbas in Bethlehem, saying, “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded,” referring to stipends the PA pays to terrorists and their families.
The U.S. president also pledged his support for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
“I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bring new hope to the region and its people,” Trump said. “I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it can begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East and that will be an amazing accomplishment.”
Noting how Trump did not mention Palestinian statehood or a two-state solution in his public remarks with Abbas, Member of Knesset Ofir Akunis (Likud) said, “This is a huge achievement, on a historic scale, and a big win for anyone opposed to the mistaken and dangerous idea of a Palestinian terror state in the heart of Israel.”
In his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin Monday, Trump also discussed the peace process without mentioning a two-state solution. Further, the U.S. leader did not bring up the issue of sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as their capital.
Trump initially expressed openness to alternatives to a two-state solution in February, during a meeting with Netanyahu at the White House. Breaking with American presidential administrations’ longstanding exclusive support for two states, Trump said at the time, “I’m looking at two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like … I can live with either one.”