Israeli security needs trump Palestinian statehood, US envoy says
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Israeli security needs trump Palestinian statehood, US envoy says

David Friedman says he has ‘difficulty’ with the phrase ‘two-state solution’ because it means different things to different people

Israeli security considerations would come before Palestinian statehood, the US ambassador to Israel said Thursday, a day after US President Donald Trump said he favored a two-state solution.

David Friedman for the first time also publicly referred to “a two-state solution,” referring to Israel and a future Palestinian state, during an interview with the Israeli public broadcaster Kan.

He said that he has difficulty with the term because it means “so many different things to so many different people.”

A two-minute excerpt of the interview was broadcast Thursday on social media and on the Kan website. The full interview was to be aired Thursday evening.

הנאום של נתניהו באו"ם, מותו של ארי נשר וצעדת ירושלים | והרי החדשות

הנאום של נתניהו באו"ם, מותו של ארי נשר וצעדת ירושלים | והרי החדשות

Posted by ‎כאן חדשות‎ on Thursday, 27 September 2018

“I like the two-state solution,” Trump told reporters at a press gaggle with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Wednesday. “That’s what I think works best. I don’t even have to speak to anybody, that’s my feeling.”

At a later press conference, Trump backtracked a little, saying he preferred a two-state solution but that a one-state solution would be okay too, if that was what the sides wanted.

Friedman emphasized that “Where Palestinian autonomy and Israeli security intersect, we err on the side of Israeli security,”

“It is a very different view than I think has been expressed in the past,” he said, adding that Trump has been “the most pro-Israel president in the history of the United States.”

Friedman said the Trump administration’s peace plan is already ready and that the United States would never propose something that deprived Israel of the right to maintain security control.

Netanyahu told Israeli reporters after meeting Trump that under any peace accord, Israel would retain security control from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

“I am sure that any US peace plan will reflect that principle to a great extent, maybe even entirely,” Netanyahu said.

“Some things are not to acceptable to us,” he added. “Make no mistake: Israel will not give up on security control west of the Jordan as long as I am prime minister. I think the Americans accept that principle.”

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that “We will not accept the presence of a single occupation soldier on our Palestinian land.”

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