Israel occupies 'just 2 percent' of West Bank, says United States ambassador

Oct 01, 2017, 00:20
Israel occupies 'just 2 percent' of West Bank, says United States ambassador

"The idea was that Israel would be entitled to secure borders", he added.

"So there was always supposed to be some notion of expansion into the West Bank, but not necessarily expansion into the entire West Bank". From more news and updates, please visit our website at www.imemc.org today's report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi and me Ghassan Bannoura.

According to the 1994 internationally recognized deal establishing the Palestinian Authority, Israel maintains full military and civilian control of 60% of the West Bank in addition to military control over another 22% of the area and full control of its borders.

With regard to the first point, Friedman explained, "I think the settlements are part of Israel", which "was always the expectation when [UN] Resolution 242 was adopted".

Resolution 242 demanded the "withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" while "emphasising the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war". But as Friedman must know, Israel's control of the West Bank - geographically, topographically, politically, economically, and in any other way imaginable - can not be dwarfed into his two-percent figure.

The Israeli army continued, for the third consecutive day, the complete isolation of sixteen Palestinian villages, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, in addition to closing various roads and continuing the state of curfew, imprisoning the villages in their homes, and causing the closure of fifty schools.

Nabil Shaath, an adviser to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said: "Sometimes ambassadors can be ignorant and sometimes they can be biased but this is completely ignorant, not just of USA policy but the fact that the occupation refers to the whole of the West Bank and East Jerusalem".

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.

"We'll try to get it done right, not done fast", Friedman added.

More than 255 Palestinians - a lot of them attackers, Israel says - have also been killed in that period.

US President Donald Trump is seeking to restart frozen peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Before taking up his post, Friedman had voiced opposition to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis. Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer also attended the meeting.

The US' ambassador to Israel has been admonished by Washington DC for giving an interview in which he suggested that only two per cent of land in the West Bank is occupied by Israel.

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