Published: Sun, October 01, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

American Ambassador Falsely Claims Israel Occupies Only 2% Of West Bank

American Ambassador Falsely Claims Israel Occupies Only 2% Of West Bank

In other news, the papers reported on preparations in Gaza to receive the Palestinian government of Rami Hamdallah, which is expected to arrive there on Monday following rise in efforts to reunify the West Bank and Gaza Strip and end their 10-year-long division following the 2007 Hamas coup.

David Friedman, a former bankruptcy lawyer who took up his post in Donald Trump's administration in May, sad in an interview broadcast on Thursday with news channel Israeli Walla that he believes "the settlements are part of Israel".

"They (Israelis) are only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank", Friedman said in an interview with the Israeli news site Walla.

"His comments - and I want to be crystal clear about this - should not be read as a way to prejudge the outcome of any negotiations that the United States would have with the Israelis and the Palestinians,"said spokeswoman Heather Nauert".

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.

"I think the settlements are part of Israel", he said.

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When he was announced as ambassador-designate, liberal Jewish groups in the United States denounced Friedman's appointment as reckless, describing him as the least experienced choice ever for a U.S. ambassador to Israel.

"So", he continued, "there was always supposed to be some notion of expansion into the West Bank, but not necessarily expansion into the entire West Bank". And I think that's exactly what, you know, Israel has done.

The same paper went on to report that the companies had responded to the commissioner's notice by saying that they did not intend to renew their contracts in Israel or sign new ones.

20-year-old border policeman Solomon Gabriah from Be'er Yaakov in central Israel, and private security guards Yosef Ottman from the nearby Arab-Israeli village of Abu Ghosh and Or Arish, 25, from Har Adar were killed. Israel's own Supreme Court regards the territory as being held under 'belligerent occupation, ' as defined by worldwide law.

Earlier this month, Mr Friedman referred to Israel's "alleged occupation" of the West Bank while speaking to Israeli media - which Ms Nauert again had to say did not reflect the US' view.

The Palestinians have limited autonomy in 40 percent of the area, with Israel in full control over the remaining 60 percent. "I want to be crystal clear".

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