Israel only occupies 2% of West Bank, says United States ambassador


Palestinians demand the West Bank as part of a future state.

"I think the settlements are part of Israel", Friedman said.

When asked when the Trump administration peace proposals might be ready to go, he said, "I would speculate within months, but we're not holding ourselves to any hard deadline".

Americans for Peace Now called on Trump to recall Friedman for making statements that "blatantly contradict long-held United States policy".

The papers highlighted the strong Palestinian reaction to these statements by Freidman, which contradict official U.S. position on the 50-year long Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as global law and United Nations resolutions on the matter.

"So", he continued, "there was always supposed to be some notion of expansion into the West Bank, but not necessarily expansion into the entire West Bank".

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Even if Friedman is merely referring to areas in the West Bank that are under the control of settlements, the figure is actually 10% and if he is referring to areas exclusively reserved to Israelis, which are no-go areas for Palestinians, the figure is 40%. From more news and updates, please visit our website at today's report has been brought to you by George Rishmawi and me Ghassan Bannoura. I mean, they're only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank.

The Yesha Council, which represents settlers across the occupied West Bank, welcomed the ambassador's comments.

20-year-old border policeman Solomon Gabriah from Be'er Yaakov in central Israel, and private security guards Yosef Ottman from the nearby Arab-Israeli village of Abu Ghosh and Or Arish, 25, from Har Adar were killed.

On Thursday, Friedman courted controversy, telling Walla news that the two-state solution "has lost its meaning, or at least has a different meaning for different people", forcing the US State Department to somewhat distance itself from its envoy's remarks.

Nevertheless, roughly 500,000 Israelis now live on more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built on these territories since 1967. 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.

"I don't know where that came from", Nauert said about Friedman's "2 percent" assessment.