U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Israel will have to pay “a higher price” in peace talks with the Palestinians as a result of official U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year.
Speaking at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, Trump said it was now the Palestinians’ “turn” to “get something very good” in potential peace talks with Israel.
Trump touted his decision to recognize Israel’s claim over Jerusalem and move the U.S. Embassy there, which sparked international condemnation and drew the ire of the Palestinians.
“If there’s ever going to be peace with the Palestinians, then this was a good thing to have done,” Trump said of his decision.
“We took it off the table. In past negotiations, they never got past Jerusalem. Now Israel will have to pay a higher price because it’s off the table. The Palestinians will get something very good because it’s their turn next.”
This was not the first time Trump has said that Israel will need to pay a price for U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Speaking alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, Trump said, “There were never any [peace] deals that came close because [of] Jerusalem. You couldn’t ever get past Jerusalem. So when people said, oh, I ‘set it back’ – I didn’t set it back. I helped it. Because by taking it off the table, that was the toughest issue. And Israel will pay for that.”