Trump asks ally Netanyahu if he genuinely sought peace with Palestine
They say Donald Trump doesn't care about who is who. According to an Axios news report published on Sunday, April 22, Trump asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2017 whether he seriously considered making peace with the Palestinians.
The report said Trump uttered the discomforting words during a phone call with Netanyahu, leader of one of the USA's closest allies in West Asia over the decades.
The report also said that the call occurred just after the media of Israel reported about Netanyahu planning to approve settlement construction projects to please his right-wing constituency,
Israel and Palestine saw revival of fire at the Gaza border since March 30 after the Palestinians flagged off massive demonstrations to mark the Land Day - an annual day to protest Israel's seizure of Arab land - leading up to the Nakba Day on May 15, the day after the birth of Israel as an independent nation in 1948. Israel responded with iron fists, allowing its army to open fire at the protesters. Over 30 people have been killed so far while several thousands have been injured. The dead also included a Palestinian journalist.
The Axios report said Trump felt Netanyahu was "unnecessarily angering the Palestinians" and cited at least three sources familiar with the call.
During the conversation which was otherwise friendly, Trump asked Netanyahu or Bibi as he is known to be whether he genuinely wanted to give peace a chance in the region.
The report, however, did not say anything about Netanyahu's reply to Trump's question.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Axios that the American president has "great relationships" with a number of foreign heads but that didn't mean that he couldn't be aggressive when it came to "negotiating what's best for America".
White House sources also told Axios that Trump shared an "extremely close and candid relationship" with the Israeli prime minister and praised the latter's "strong efforts to enhance the cause of peace in the face of numerous challenges".
Trump has taken a special care about achieving peace between Israel and Palestine and put in place a diplomatic team led by his son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner and Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt to strive for the elusive peace in the volatile region. But Trump undid his own efforts somewhat by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital a few months ago and announced plans to shift the American embassy there.
Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was livid with the Trump administration and refused to meet its members and criticised it for its role as an honest mediator.