Washington rebuffs own envoy for saying ‘settlements are part of Israel’

For the second time since David Friedman assumed his post as US ambassador to Israel, the US State Department has publicly rejected remarks he made pertaining to Israel’s presence in the West Bank as not reflecting the administration’s stance.On Thursday afternoon, spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters that Friedman’s comments in an interview with the Israeli Walla news website that he considers West Bank “settlements are part of Israel” should “not be read as a shift in US policy.” “I just want to be clear that our policy has not changed​,” she added, with emphasis. ​”I want to be crystal clear​.”​ 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. 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.In the Walla interview, Friedman cited UN Security Council Resolution 242, which passed in November 1967, that said a Middle East peace deal should include a withdrawal of “Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”


Source: Washington rebuffs own envoy for saying ‘settlements are part of Israel’ | The Times of Israel

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