Dailies highlight controversial statements by United States ambassador to Israel — Newspapers Review

Dailies highlight controversial statements by United States ambassador to Israel — Newspapers Review

Abbas has always been a critic of violence, but has remained quiet in the past when attacks against Israelis took place in the West Bank. 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.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, 7 Tishrei 5778, in Jerusalem, met with US President Donald Trump's special envoy, Jason Greenblatt, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. "If I was a USA citizen I would be extremely concerned that my ambassador in Israel is using his position to try to emphasise the importance of settlements to Israel".

The US diplomat added that a new American Israeli-Palestinian peace plan will be presented in the coming months, and that Trump, "at some point during his presidency will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel".

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. "There was always supposed to be some expectation of [Israeli] expansion" into Judea and Samaria. And I think that's exactly what, you know, Israel has done. "I mean, [Israel's] only occupying two percent of the West Bank", he elaborated, seemingly referring to the built up area of settlements beyond the Green Line.

The US regards Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and an obstacle to the achievement of peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Friedman told Walla news that he thinks "the settlements are part of Israel", according a preview released on Thursday morning. "I think that was always the expectation when United Nations resolution 242 was adopted in 1967... It remains today the only substantive resolution that was agreed to by everybody".

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. He said in a statement that "such positions undermine ongoing efforts toward achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine", based on 1967 borders.

"The existing borders, the 1967 borders, were viewed by everybody as not secure, so Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn't need for peace and security", the USA ambassador said, as cited by JTA.

David Friedman's comments were met with anger and ridicule, as Palestinians remain at odds with decades of USA policy in the Middle East.

"It should not be read as a change in United States policy".

While the figure of 2% has been used in the past by Israeli officials to define occupation as the physical footprint of settlement buildings, "area C" - the part of the West Bank under Israeli administrative and security control - accounts for 60% of the West Bank.

Israel sees Hamas as a terrorist organization which aims for the ultimate destruction of the Israeli state.