In pre-election rush, Trump OKs U.S. funding of science projects in illegal Israeli settlements

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David Friedman and Benjamin Netanyahu sign new accords allowing American funds to support science research in illegal Israeli settlements. (photo: Israeli Government Press Office Oct 27, 2020)
The new amendments will allow US taxpayer money to be spent in Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.

By Yumna Patel  |  Mondoweiss  | Oct 28, 2020

“Extending US funding to the occupied West Bank, including illegal Israeli settlements, is a clear recognition of Israel´s annexation of Palestinian territory…this upgrades the Trump administration’s involvement in Israeli war crimes to active and willful participation.’
— Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee member 

In a move that has further legitimized Israel’s illegal settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, the US and Israel have expanded a number of existing scientific cooperation agreements to now include Israeli institutions in the occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights.

The new agreement, signed on Wednesday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, amended three existing scientific cooperation agreements between the two countries.

According to the original agreements, which were created back in the 1970’s, cooperative projects between the US and Israel “may not be conducted in geographical areas which came under the administration of the State of Israel after June 5, 1967, and may not relate to subjects primarily pertinent to such areas.”

The new amendments will now for the first time allow US taxpayer money to be spent in Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.

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