Trump: I Intend to Achieve the 'Ultimate Deal' - Israeli-Palestinian Peace

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the president-elect says he wants to do 'the deal that can't be made' for the sake of humanity.

Donald Trump, his wife Melania and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell exit after a meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, November 10, 2016.
Pete Marovich, Bloomberg

President-elect of the United States Donald Trump said he will try and achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians in order to bring an end to what he called "the war that never ends."

Trump, who starts his term in office on January 20, made the remarks during an interview with The Wall Street Journal a day after his initial meeting with outgoing President Barack Obama at the White House as part of the process of transferring power to the new administration.

In the interview with the conservative newspaper, Trump referred to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians in business world terms, calling it "the ultimate deal."

“As a deal maker, I’d like to do the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake,” he added.

Trump has made similar statements about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process during the election campaign, but this the first time that he has addressed the subject since he won the presidency.

A Palestinian gazes at T-shirts of President Barack Obama and president-elect Donald Trump in a shop in Jerusalem's Old City, November 10, 2016.
Ahmad Gharabli, AFP

Throughout the campaign, Trump delivered contradictory messages on the subject. In one instance, he said he will be "neutral" in his attempt to promote the peace process, a remark that brought criticism from Israel's supporters in the U.S. On another occasion, he said that he will not exert any pressure on Israel and will even allow as much settlement building as it wishes.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry distributed a document with a preliminary assessment of Trump's foreign policy to Israeli embassies worldwide. The brief estimated that the president-elect would reduce America's involvement in the Middle East in general and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular.

The document stressed that Trump's statements regarding the peace process during the campaign do not indicate a coherent policy on the issue.

“As part of his minimal interest in foreign affairs, Trump doesn’t see the Middle East as a good investment and it’s reasonable to assume he will seek to reduce American involvement in the region, alongside his commitment to maintaining the struggle against Islamic State and the momentum created in the battle for the cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, which will continue to get his administration’s support,” the document states.

“The diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians will not be a top priority for the Trump administration and it’s reasonable to assume this topic will also be influenced by the staff surrounding him and developments in the field."