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US former President Donald Trump said that Israel must “finish up” the war. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Former US President Donald Trump said on Monday that Israel has to “finish up” the war in Gaza, adding that Tel Aviv “has to be very careful” because it is “losing a lot of support.”

In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom (Israel Today), Trump suggested that he would have acted similarly to Tel Aviv following the October 7 military operation. 

“I would say I would act very much the same way as you did. (…) That was a horrible attack,” he said.

However, the former president noted that the continuation of the war could hurt Israel in terms of public opinion.

“I wanted to call (the Israeli government – PC) and say don’t do it,” he said. “These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza. And I said, Oh, that’s a terrible portrait. It’s a very bad picture for the world.”

“I think Israel wanted to show that it’s tough, but sometimes you shouldn’t be doing that,” Trump added.

The former president also explained that the relationship between the pro-Israel lobby and US politics has changed. 

“Some 15 years ago, Israel had the strongest lobby. If you were a politician, you couldn’t say anything bad about Israel, that would be like the end of your political career. Today, it’s almost the opposite,” he stated.

Trump’s criticism was particularly addressed to Israeli propaganda efforts. “Israel has to get better with the promotional and with the public relations, because right now they’re in ruin. They’re being hurt very badly,” he said.

In the interview, Trump described himself as the “most pro-Israel president ever”. 

“There’s never been a president and mostly anybody whether it’s a president, nobody did for Israel what I did for Israel,” he said.

Tensions Running High

Trump’s comments came as tensions between Washington and Tel Aviv are running high after the US did not use its veto power, thus allowing a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire to pass at the United Nations Security Council.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to cancel an Israeli delegation’s visit to Washington DC, saying that Washington’s failure to veto the resolution was a “clear retreat” from its previous position, and would hurt war efforts in Gaza.

“This withdrawal hurts both the war effort and the effort to release the hostages, because it gives (the Palestinian Resistance movement) Hamas hope that international pressure will allow them to accept a cease-fire without the release of our hostages,” the statement said, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

White House Spokesperson John Kirby said that the vote “does not represent a shift in our policy”.

Kirby also stated that the US was “looking forward to having an opportunity to speak to an Israeli delegation later this week” about “exploring alternatives to a major ground offensive in Rafah”.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.  

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 32,333 Palestinians have been killed, and 74,694 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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