David Friedman’s comments draw accusations of unilaterally changing US policy and “absolute ignorance of facts and laws.”
“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 Israel has done. I mean, they’re only occupying two percent of the West Bank.”
— David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel
[Ed note: Both US policy and international law recognize Israel as the occupying power in 100% of the West Bank.]
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Thursday that West Bank settlements “are part of Israel” and that the two-state solution “is not a helpful term” and “has largely lost its meaning,” drawing an angry response from the Palestinians.
Speaking in an interview broadcast on the Walla news website, Friedman was asked for his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to speculate on the Trump administration’s plans moving forward on the issue. Some of his answers largely contradicted long-held US positions.
“I think the settlements are part of Israel,” Friedman said, giving a historical overview of the process since Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War. “I think that was always the expectation.”