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U.S. House passes resolution breaking with Trump on Israel policy

WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution on Friday backing a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, following initiatives from President Donald Trump seen as heavily favoring the Jewish state.

The Democratic-led House voted 226 to 188, largely along party lines, for a non-binding resolution saying that only a two-state solution can both ensure Israel’s survival as a Jewish state and fulfill the Palestinians’ “legitimate aspirations” for their own state.

Since he became president in January 2017, the Republican Trump has been condemned by Palestinian and some Arab states’ leaders for reversing long-held U.S. policies to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, move the U.S. embassy to the city in 2018 and cut U.S. aid to Palestinians.

In March 2019, Trump recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967. And last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would no longer consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal.

Such measures, which help strengthen support for Trump from his conservative evangelical Christian political base, have fueled questions about whether his administration will abandon the idea of a “two-state solution,” with an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel.

The measure passed on Friday faced opposition from the left. Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, said she opposed separate states, instead favoring one state where Israelis and Palestinians would be equal.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Tom Brown)