Trump official warns Palestinians: Israel settlements will continue to grow 

(Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 6, 2020

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien warned Palestinians yesterday that Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank will continue to grow.

In a speech reported on by the Associated Press (AP), the senior US official linked anti-Semitism worldwide with the expansion of Israeli settlements.

“This could be the last opportunity for a two-state solution,” O’Brien told foreign diplomats at the event at the Meridian International Centre.

“The Israeli birth rate is strong and is growing because sadly antisemitism in Europe and other places around the world is encouraging more Jews to return to Israel,” he added.

“The settlements are going to continue to expand. If this freeze on settlements doesn’t hold. If this peace process doesn’t work, it may be physically impossible to have a two-state solution.”

As noted by AP, “it was unusual for a high-level administration official to tie anti-Semitism to the settlements.”

O’Brien defended Trump’s plan for Israel and the Palestinians, saying it was not “perfect”, but that the deal’s terms would allow Palestine to supposedly become the “Singapore of the Middle East”.

Trump’s plan states that a Palestinian state could eventually be established, but on only a part of the occupied Palestinian territory, without full sovereignty, and only if Palestinians agree to conditions that many observers see as impossible to fulfil.

Meanwhile, the US plan allows Israel to annex Israeli settlements and significant territory within the West Bank, the only matter of dispute with the current Israeli government being one of timing.