The words of the US ambassador to Israel, that the Jewish state has the right to annex "a part" of the occupied West Bank, have been denounced by Ramallah.
This is a sentence that may further strengthen the Palestinians' opposition to the future American peace initiative in the Middle East, the result of an American administration that Ramallah denounces the pro-Israel bias. In an interview with the American daily The New York Times, On Saturday, June 8, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said: " In certain circumstances (…) I think Israel has the right to retain some, but not all, of the West Bank. ", Palestinian territory occupied by Israel for more than fifty years.
In a statement released Saturday night, Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem condemned the remarks, denouncing a US-led foreign policy. "A group some of whom do not have the necessary political maturity and among whom are extremists". Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Saeb Erekat calls him Friedman "Extremist ambassador of settlers" Israel, on Twitter, before adding: "Their vision is to annex an occupied territory, a war crime under international law."
"On what principle does he base his conviction? "asked the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, citing Friedman's interview. " On international law prohibiting the annexation of a territory by force? Or the reality imposed by the occupation forces? ", he said in a statement Sunday, considering filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Official contacts suspended
Israel's colonization of the occupied West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem, which is illegal under international law, has continued under all Israeli governments since 1967. As a result, more than 600,000 Israeli settlers face often conflictual coexistence with Israel. of 3 million Palestinians. Mr. Friedman supported Israeli settler interests, and the family foundation of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to the US president in charge of the peace plan, financed Israeli settlements.
Since December 2017, the Palestinian leadership has suspended official contacts with the US government, following Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The international community has disapproved of the US decision, with the Palestinians hoping to make East Jerusalem the capital of the state they aspire to.
Washington, however, planned to present the economic component of its plan in Bahrain in late June, though no date has been set for the presentation of the plan as a whole. Not to mention that Israel begins a new election period after the failure of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to form a coalition after the legislative elections in April, which should further delay the schedule.