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Jerusalem was highlight of my year, says Donald Trump

12 February 2018

In an interview published on Sunday, Mr Trump also told an Israeli newspaper that he was sceptical that either side - Palestinians or Israelis - were ready to make peace.

In excerpts of the interview published on Friday, Trump was quoted as calling his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "a very big point" of his first year in office.

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Asked by editor-in-chief Boaz Bismouth when the USA would present its peace plan, Mr Trump said: "We will see what happens". But his comments about Israel mark rare criticism from a president who has publicly sparred with the Palestinians while forging warm ties with Israel ahead of the expected presentation of a US peace outline.

"Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace".

Trump's ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has in the past been a supporter of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. He added that the settlements "always have complicated making peace, so I think Israel has to be very careful with the settlements". The village's land and even its spring have been confiscated by the illegal colonial settlement of Halamish and the village is regularly subject to invasions, raids and arrests. "And I am not necessarily sure that Israel is looking to make peace", the president said.

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"I do not and can not say specifically what the president was referring to, but to the best of my knowledge, the things we work on with Malaysia are ongoing". The capital, having Jerusalem be your great capital was a very important thing to a lot of people.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

The Gaza Strip-based Al-Resalah newspaper reported January 19 that Israeli Channel 14 shed light on a leaked document by Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat, which he submitted to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas 10 days before it was disclosed to the public.

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Washington said it would hand over $60m (£43m) of a planned payment to the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa), but would keep back $65m until it carries out "reforms".

Jerusalem was highlight of my year, says Donald Trump