Could Trump's son-in-law broker peace between Palestinians, Israel?
US President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would "love" to clinch a deal to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians despite the checkered history of successive administrations’ attempts to broker a Middle East peace agreement.
"I would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians, that would be such a great achievement," Trump said in an interview with The New York Times.
A New York Times reporter tweeted that Trump also suggested that his son-in-law Jared Kushner could help broker the deal.
Kushner, who is married to Trump's daughter Ivanka, is from an Orthodox Jewish family. The businessman and investor was a close adviser to Trump during the election campaign.
After Trump's 8 November win, Kushner reportedly asked for access to the daily White House security briefings given to his father-in-law.
Kushner and his wife were present when Trump visited with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on 17 November, the president-elect's first meeting with a foreign leader.
Trump has raised Palestinian ire by proposing that Jerusalem should be recognised as Israel's capital, an idea contrary to traditional US policy.
Back in February, Trump said he would be neutral and recognised the difficulty of reaching a peace deal.
"But I will give it one hell of a shot," he said in a TV interview. "That I can tell you. But of all agreements - I would say if you can do that deal, you can do any deal."
Since then, he has moved to reaffirm his enormous support for Israel repeatedly.
In March, he gave a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where he slammed President Barack Obama for “applying pressure” on Israel.
He also vowed that Israel will not be treated as a “second class-citizen” by Washington if he wins.
“I love the people in this room. I love Israel... My daughter, Ivanka, is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby,” he said in the speech.
After the election, Trump's legal adviser Jason Greenblatt said the president-elect does not view settlements as an obstacle to peace.
In October, a different Trump adviser said Jewish settlements in the West Bank are not illegal.
Palestinians say Israeli settlement expansion in occupied territory is dimming any prospect for the viable state they seek.
Palestinians have condemned Trump’s pro-Israeli policies, including his promise to move the embassy to Gaza.
"Trump's win is an evil prophecy for Palestinian politics," said Adnan Abu Amer, a political scientist based in Gaza told Reuters after the election.
"Trump may seek to marginalise the Palestinian-Israeli file and activate other files such as Syria, Iran and Iraq. That is what Israel wants and what the Palestinians fear."
However, the Israeli right has expressed particular satisfaction with Trump's election victory, viewing it as a sign to resume or accelerate settlement building in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territories, and even the end of the idea of an independent Palestinian state.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a right-wing party leader who backs Israeli settlement building and opposes a Palestinian state, was among the first in Israel to congratulate Trump.
"The era of a Palestinian state is over," Bennett said.