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'Stay strong Israel' - Donald Trump tweets criticism of President Obama

The President-elect has broken in convention in attacking his soon-to-be predecessor.

US PRESIDENT-ELECT Donald Trump has told Israel to “stay strong” until his inauguration as he used Twitter to criticise President Barack Obama.

While the White House has seethed behind the scenes, there has been little public response to Trump’s forays into US foreign and domestic policy before he takes office in less than a month.

But tensions reached something of a breaking point after the United States tacitly backed condemnation of Israeli settlement activity at the United Nations.

With Washington withholding its veto, the UN Security Council passed a resolution demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building in the Palestinian territories.

Trump followed up Wednesday’s early tweet with another two taking aim at Obama’s policy toward Israel.

Trump’s tweets followed another in which he took direct aim at Obama. Trump accused him of derailing a smooth transition with “inflammatory” remarks, before appearing to row back.

Ever since the 8 November election, Trump and Obama have tried to bury political differences in favor of a united public front that would smooth the transfer of power on 20 January.

But the Republican president-in-waiting unceremoniously cast any cordiality aside in a morning Twitter tirade from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

In a declaration that is unprecedented in its personal condemnation of a soon-to-be predecessor, the 70-year-old tweeted:

But Trump later appeared to shift focus from his previous comments, stating the process was going “very, very smoothly.”

Trump said he had spoken to Obama in what he described as “a very nice conversation… appreciated that he called.”

“I actually thought we covered a lot of territory,” Trump said.

“Our staffs have been getting along very well and I’m getting along very well with him other than a couple of statements that I responded to.

“We talked about it and smiled about it and nobody is ever going to know because we are never going to be going against each other.”

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the call “was positive and focused on continuing a smooth and effective transition,” adding the pair planned to keep in touch over the coming weeks.

Tensions between Trump and the current White House have been growing for weeks as Obama has become more outspoken about a vitriol-filled election that saw Democrat Hillary Clinton suffer a shock defeat.

Trump Trump met yesterday with boxing promoter Don King. Source: Evan Vucci/PA Images

Obama, who is still the most popular politician in the country, recently suggested that he may have won a third term were he not constitutionally barred from doing so.

That seems to have irked the notoriously thin-skinned president-elect.

Unfit

Throughout the long election campaign, Obama made no secret of his disdain for Trump, describing him as ill-informed and unfit for office.

But since a landmark meeting in the Oval Office a few days after the election, Obama has tried flattery in a bid to bind Trump to the norms of office.

He has praised Trump on a historic victory and made plain that millions of Republican voters would also be hurt if Trump overturns his landmark health care law.

Obama has repeatedly vowed to make the transition as smooth as possible.

At lower levels, the transition has spluttered along after a slow start that saw many key departments wait for substantive meetings with Trump staff.

That is said to have improved in recent weeks, as “landing teams” have begun to work with government agencies and briefing materials have been distributed.

The real estate mogul-turned-commander-in-chief is gradually putting together a team that is made up of Republican establishment figures, billionaires, generals and far-right activists.

© – AFP 2016

Read: ‘He’s a real danger to the Irish people’: 20 letters scorning Enda Kenny for his Trump congratulations >

Read: There was huge money to be made gambling on three of 2016’s most unexpected victories >

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