Skip To Content
Breaking News

Trump Plans To Discuss Settlements at Meeting With Netanyahu

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump wants to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about recent settlement expansion plans when they meet next month.

“He wants to have a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and we’ll discuss that,” Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said Tuesday at the daily briefing for reporters when asked about the announcements.

Netanyahu and Trump spoke over the weekend, and Trump invited Netanyahu to the White House next month.

Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman this week said they had given the go-ahead to plans for 2,500 housing units in the West Bank. Additionally, a Jerusalem municipal committee this week approved 566 housing units in Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.

Spicer indicated that Trump, not yet a week in office and still without a secretary of state, is scrambling to set policy on sensitive issues, but is determined to move past the tensions that characterized the Netanyahu government’s relationship with the Obama administration.

“He has asked his team to get together” and study the settlement question, Spicer said. “Israel has continued to be a huge ally of the United States … he wants to get closer with Israel.”

The Obama administration opposed settlements and in its final month for the first time allowed through a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its settlement expansion. The departure of Obama has heartened advocates in Israel of settlement expansion.

On Trump’s campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Spicer said Monday that the new president had not yet decided when to make the move.

Also Monday, reporters asked Spicer if Trump had anything to say about the $221 million that the Obama administration transferred to the Palestinian Authority in its final hours on Friday, defying the wishes of leading Congress members who had put a hold on the funds in part because of concerns that Palestinian officials continue to incite violence against Israel.

Spicer refused to directly address the transfer, saying only that Trump would re-examine all expenditures overseas and domestic.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.