Israel only occupies 2% of West Bank, says U.S. ambassador

Israel only occupies 2% of West Bank, says U.S. ambassador

Israel only occupies 2% of West Bank, says U.S. ambassador

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".

According to the newspaper, al-Hussein began sending letters earlier this month to 150 Israeli and foreign companies warning them that they would be added to a blacklist of companies doing business in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.Haaretz quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying that al-Hussein had informed these firms that they were "doing business in the occupied Palestinian territories and could thus find themselves on the U.N.'s backlist of companies acting in violation of global law". Some of his answers largely contradicted long-held USA positions and the State Department later clarified his words did not indicate a shift in policy from Washington. The attack, which came as U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt was due in occupied Jerusalem for talks on relaunching the moribund Middle East peace process, drew condemnation from Israeli officials who called for action from the Palestinian leadership. Israel has done. I mean, they're only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank.

A Palestinian opened fire at Israeli security personnel at the entrance to a West Bank settlement where he had worked, killing three and wounding another before being shot dead.

In another worrying sign that US President Donald Trump might not be as wholly on Israel's side as some might have hoped, the Trump State Department on Thursday rebuffed its own ambassador to Israel for legitimizing Jewish settlements. Let's begin with Ambassador Friedman's apparent determination that the settlements are 'a part of Israel.' This is a complete fabrication.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

Far from considering settlements to be part of Israel, American foreign policy has traditionally held that Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is an obstacle to peace. "His positions are a mirror reflection of the settlers' ideology in Israel's right-wing coalition government rather than that of successive Administrations that have claimed to be invested in peace", she added.

A common argument made by the Israeli right-wing is that the resolution didn't say "the territories" or "all the territory" - leaving an opening for Israel to retain parts of the land it captured. Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer also attended the meeting.

It is the second time in as many months that Friedman has courted controversy with his views on Israel's occupation and Jewish settlements, after he referred to "the alleged occupation" in an interview with the Jerusalem Post.

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