US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has renewed his claim that Israel has the right to annex parts of occupied West Bank.
Friedman reiterated his previous comments to the New York Times, in which he claimed Israel has the “right” to annex parts of the West Bank. The US ambassador stressed this is the policy of his country, or at least “the American expectations for the coming decades”.
His comments provoked a wave of criticism, with the Palestinian Foreign Ministry considering filing a complaint against the ambassador at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“I do not understand why this issue was faced with such criticism,” Friedman argued, stressing that “there is not scenario in which Israel is leaving the whole West Bank”.
Israel’s illegal settlement of the occupied West Bank has continued apace; on Monday, Palestinian research Hanna Issa issued a statement noting that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem have reached 503, with more than one million settlers.
Israel’s settlement is a violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which bans an occupying power from transferring civilian populations into territories it occupies.
In 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 2334 in a 14–0 vote, stating that Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories is illegal.