“We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders,” Trump said. He also said the U.S. would support establishing a separate Palestinian state “if agreed to by both sides.”
Trump named his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner to work on peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, with a mandate to find new solutions to a problem that has confounded U.S. presidents for decades. Few details have been publicly released about their progress.
Despite numerous wars, terrorism attacks and violent uprisings, successive peace negotiations have failed, often followed by more violence.
In addition, Israel built more settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and erected a security barrier that cuts across land Palestinians want for a future nation.
Barghouti scoffed at the notion that Israeli leaders will see Trump’s action on Jerusalem as a signal to make concessions.
More: Trump declares Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking with decades of U.S. foreign policy
More: Jerusalem has history of many conquests, surrenders
More: Palestinian leader: Trump’s Jerusalem decision a ‘withdrawal’ of peace process
“No, it just made them more arrogant,” he said. “Now they feel they have a full green light from the president of the United States to do what they want.”
But the Palestinians will launch pressure of their own, without turning to violence, he said. “We will accomplish the recognition of Palestine as an occupied state and struggle as long as it takes to get freedom from the Israeli occupation. Times will change.”
Kontorovich said the White House will not be locked into past negotiations that failed to produce peace.
The new approach is to send the message that “the Palestinians should not assume that Israel’s last offer will always be the floor or minimum for the next round of negotiations,” Kontorovich said. “The narrative for the Palestinians is time is not on your side.”
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