President Donald Trump told Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, that he is “not somebody that believes that going forward with … settlements is a good thing for peace,” in an interview billed as his first with Israeli media since taking office.
The President said he did not want to condemn Israel with comments.
“I understand Israel very well, and I respect Israel a lot, and they have been through a lot,” he told the newspaper,” he said.
Ahead of Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington next week, Trump said he’s “always had good chemistry” with the Israeli Prime Minister and that Netanyahu “is a good man.”
“He wants to do the right thing for Israel,” Trump said, adding, “I believe that he wants peace and wants to have it badly.”
Trump repeated his criticism of the nuclear deal signed by his predecessor former President Barack Obama with Iran.
“The deal with Iran was a disaster for Israel. Inconceivable that it was made,” he said. “It was poorly negotiated and executed,” he told the newspaper, which is seen as being close to Netanyahu.
It’s widely been reported that Israel Hayom belongs to conservative megadonor Sheldon Adelson, but in an Israeli Supreme Court case, his attorney said it was owned by an Adelson relative, according to Israeli media reports.