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Republicans possibly ready to reject two-state solution, Trump advisor says

GOP might be due to assert more support for Israeli settlements, and possibly reject all together the idea of a two-state solution, says David Friedman.

A policy advisor to Donald Trump told CNN that the Republican party might be due to assert more support for Israeli settlements, and possibly reject all together the idea of a two-state solution, which has long been a pillar of both Democratic and Republican policy in the region.

David Friedman, a real estate lawyer and bankruptcy expert who Trump has described as one of his advisors on Israel, staked out a position further to the right of the current Republican Party platform ahead of its nominating convention later this month.

“It ought to be time to at least take a fresh look at this,” Friedman said in reference to the two-state solution, suggesting some Arabs might prefer Israel’s complete control. “The two-state solution might be one answer, but I don’t think it’s the only answer anymore.”

Last month, Friedman told Haaretz that Trump would support Israel’s annexing parts of the West Bank.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has articulated his strong support of Israel in recent days, after raising concern among some in the pro-Israel community early in his campaign by staking out a “neutral” stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Friedman suggested Trump would consider support of an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would not openly oppose Israel’s policy decisions. He also echoed comments by Trump in support of a policy of not “imposing” US policies on Israel.

In the same article, several veteran policy advisers to Republican presidents, warned against a departure from support for the two-state solution.

“I think it would be a great mistake for anything in the Republican platform to attack or criticize the two-state solution in any way. But I think it’s reasonable to say the real goal is a comprehensive and lasting peace, and there may be several ways to get there,” Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security advisor in the administration of President George W. Bush, told CNN.

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Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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