Economy

Newspapers Review: Dailies highlight controversial statements by U.S. ambassador to Israel

Newspapers Review: Dailies highlight controversial statements by U.S. ambassador to Israel

Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 Six Day War, and does not regard construction there as part of the settlement enterprise, has never claimed sovereignty in the West Bank.

"There is important nationalistic, historical [and] religious significance to those settlements, and I think the settlers view themselves as Israelis and Israel views the settlers as Israelis".

U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to restart frozen Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The Trump State Department's reaction was both swift and harsh.

In excerpts published from an interview with Israeli website Walla!News, Friedman claimed that Israel is "only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank".

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The papers highlighted the strong Palestinian reaction to these statements by Freidman, which contradict official USA position on the 50-year long Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as worldwide law and United Nations resolutions on the matter.

"I think that was always the expectation when resolution 242 was adopted in 1967", Friedman said.

"And I think that's exactly what Israel has done".

Global law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal. I mean, they're only occupying two per cent of the West Bank.

When asked about the prospects for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Friedman reiterated to Walla! that it was a question of "when not if", and stressed that "most importantly [the US would] recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the state of Israel and of the Jewish people".

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However, the UN Resolution 242, signed after the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Sinai and Golan Heights calls for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the lands occupied during the conflict.

"The idea was that Israel would be entitled to secure borders", he told Israeli Walla. Israel's own Supreme Court regards the territory as being held under 'belligerent occupation, ' as defined by global law.

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. Israel maintains civil and military control of the entirety of Area C, which makes up roughly 60% of the West Bank, and control of all the borders.

"I don't know where that came from", Nauert said about Friedman's "2 percent" assessment.

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