This article was originally published on Jewish Insider.
U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump confirmed on Tuesday a report that he’s planning to travel to Israel in the coming months after formally accepting the Republican U.S. presidential nomination at the party’s national convention in July.
The Trump campaign on Monday denied a Friday report by Israel’s Ma’ariv daily that the presumptive nominee is planning to visit Israel, Russia and Germany after the convention. The report cited a close adviser to Trump, who said that the expected trip is a central part of a large effort by Trump to improve his image and cultivate his understanding of foreign affairs.
“Not true,” Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks told several news outlets after the report appeared in English in Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff on Monday.
But in an interview with Israel Hayom, in honor of Israel’s 68th Independence Day, Trump confirmed the report.
“I heard you are going to visit us soon, before the election,” the paper’s Boaz Bismuth asked to confirm. “Yes. I will be coming (to Israel) soon,” Trump responded.
Trump had planned to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu last year during a visit to Israel, but shortly after the meeting was reported, the prime minister’s office sent out a statement rejecting Trump’s comments about banning Muslims entry to the United States.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims,” the statement said.
“The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world.” Trump then postponed the trip.
“He said something that wasn’t as positive as I would have liked, and I cancelled it,” Trump told Jewish Insider last month. “I did not particularly like his statement.”
“I just want to say that my support for Israel is great and strong, and I have always loved the Israeli nation,” Trump said in the interview with Israel Hayom.
“I have many friends in Israel. We will ensure that the situation in Israel will be very good, and will remain that way forever.”
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