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U.S. Policy Toward the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict under the Trump Administration: Continuity or Change?

The 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump as the U.S. president opened a new chapter in U.S. policy making toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Several developments that have taken place under the Trump Administration mark a clear rupture from the Oslo Accords in favor of support for Israeli plans to annex a large fraction of the West Bank and design a new settlement of the conflict according to its interests. While the U.S. policy toward the Palestinian issue is not radically different under Trump, he does break from former presidents in that he overtly indicates a sharp pro-Israel tilt and has been more transparent about the U.S. position in the conflict. In light of the developments that have taken place in the last three years, this article aims to investigate the main pillars of the U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to analyze how far the Trump Administration’s policies toward the conflict indicate a shift from those of his predecessors. It also offers some insights into the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by providing three prospective scenarios and discussing their repercussions.

U S Policy Toward the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict under the Trump
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (R), in front of the dedication plaque for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, March 21, 2019. JIM YOUNG / AFP via Getty Images
 

Received Date: 01/02/2020    Accepted Date: 02/07/2020

 

 

Introduction

 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which dates back to the end of the nineteenth century, has been one of the most intractable conflicts in modern history, and it has had far-reaching repercussions in Middle East politics. Since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the conflict has revolved mainly around the division of Palestine and the territorial claims of Palestinians over their occupied lands. In the second half of the 20th century, successive wars between Arabs and Israel have resulted in the expansion of the territories of the newly founded State of Israel through occupation.

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