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A senior Palestinian official says he is encouraged by early signs that the Trump administration remains strongly committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Jibril Rajoub says today that Trump made clear to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a recent phone call that he was his "strategic partner" in making a "real and serious" peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Trump campaigned on promises to depart from decades of American policy and signalled a much closer relationship with Israel than former President Barack Obama. He made no mention of Palestinian statehood and hinted toward much greater tolerance for Israeli West Bank settlement construction. But since taking office, Trump appears to have backpedaled.
Rajoub says Trump's "America First" slogan also meant he would be less prone to supporting Israel by default.
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