The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned statements made by US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, in which he emphasized the right of Israeli presence in the occupied West Bank which he described as ‘Judea and Samaria.’
The Palestinian News and Info Agency reported that Friedman, speaking at the Kohelet Forum Conference in Jerusalem, said: “Judea and Samaria – the name Judea says it all – is territory that historically had an important Jewish presence. As they say, it is the biblical heartland of Israel.”
He also referred to the US declaration that Israeli settlements in the occupied territory are “not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” and opted to describe the West Bank issue as a population issue, stating that it is “certainly the most complicated of the issues because of the large indigenous Palestinian population.”
Friedman reportedly said during the conference held with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that the US Administration is preparing for other announcements regarding the occupied West Bank.
The foreign ministry condemned Friedman’s remarks as indicative of US disregard for UN resolutions and international law, which regard the West Bank as occupied territory.
It stressed that such statements are an open incitement for Israel to commit more crimes against the Palestinian people, their property, homes, and holy places.
Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam