"Settlements Are Part of Israel," U.S. Ambassador David Friedman Says

(JTA) U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the Hebrew Walla news website on Thursday, "I think the settlements are part of Israel. I think that was always the expectation when [UN] Resolution 242 was adopted in 1967. It remains today the only substantive resolution that was agreed to by everybody. The idea was that Israel would be entitled to secure borders. The existing borders, the 1967 borders, were viewed by everybody as not secure, so Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn't need for peace and security." "They're only occupying 2% of the West Bank," Friedman said, referring to the built-up area of settlements beyond the Green Line. "There is important nationalistic, historical, religious significance to those settlements, and I think the settlers view themselves as Israelis and Israel views the settlers as Israelis." Friedman also said an administration-proposed peace plan likely will go public "within months, but we're not holding ourselves to any hard deadline. We'll try to get it done right, not done fast."

2017-09-29 00:00:00

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