gpolit.com
gpolit.com October 24, 2017


Washington distances itself from ambassador's remarks on settlements

01 October 2017, 12:20 | Kenneth Drake

Americans for Peace Now urge firing of Ambassador Friedman

Israeli security deploys at an entrance to Har Adar settlement near Jerusalem after a Palestinian assailant opened fire killing three Israeli men and critically wounding a fourth

Abbas has always been a critic of violence, but has remained quiet in the past when attacks against Israelis took place in the West Bank.

"I think the settlements are part of Israel", Friedman said in an interview with the Israeli network Walla.

The Trump State Department's reaction was both swift and harsh. "The existing borders, the 1967 borders, were viewed by everybody as not secure, so Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn't need for peace and security".

The three Palestinian Arabic dailies published on Saturday highlighted on their front page controversial statements by the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Freidman, in which he said Israel occupies only two percent of the West Bank.

A Palestinian killed three Israelis and seriously wounded another before he was shot dead at a West Bank settlement near Jerusalem.

"So there was always supposed to be some notion of expansion into the West Bank, but not necessarily expansion into the entire West Bank", he continued. From more news and updates, please visit our website at www.imemc.org today's report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi and me Ghassan Bannoura.

President Mahmoud Abbas
President Mahmoud Abbas

Israel occupied the West Bank during the 1967 war. Friedman added, "The 1967 borders were viewed by everybody as not secure".

Friedman referred to the "important nationalistic, historical, and religious significance" of these communities, commenting, "I think the settlers view themselves as Israelis, and Israel views the settlers as Israelis".

The US ambassador is a vocal supporter of Israel's illegal settlement activities in the occupied territories and its occupation even though they contradict with official US policy.

Al-Quds said Israel rejected an American request to give Palestinians control over a road that goes through Area C that serve the new town of Rawabi, north of Ramallah.

On Thursday, Friedman courted controversy, telling Walla news that the two-state solution "has lost its meaning, or at least has a different meaning for different people", forcing the US State Department to somewhat distance itself from its envoy's remarks. "Obviously its clear what is going on here, 54% of American foreign aid goes to Israel, 26% of that allows Israelis to buy weapons from Israeli suppliers and the list just goes on and on", Dankof said.



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