“I THINK THE SETTLEMENTS are part of Israel,” Friedman said. “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. Israel maintains civil and military control of the entirety of Area C, which makes up roughly 60% of the West Bank, and control of all the borders.
His use of “two percent” particularly angered Palestinians, who released statements blasting Friedman’s comments just hours later.
“It is not the first time that Mr David Friedman has exploited his position as US ambassador to advocate and validate the Israeli government’s policies of occupation and annexation,” said senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who is currently in the US awaiting a lung transplant.
FULL STORY Settlers praise US ambassador over West Bank comments (Times of Israel)
Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP)