US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman yesterday participated in the official opening ceremony for an Israeli settlement's new medical school, deep in the occupied West Bank.
As reported by the Times of Israel, Friedman used the occasion to praise the expansion of Ariel University, named after the illegal West Bank colony in which it is based.
"A new medical school has opened in Samaria", Friedman declared, using the common Israeli terminology for the northern West Bank. "It's worth saying that again: A new medical school has opened in Samaria! How many people ever thought those words would be spoken?"
"The lives of people everywhere, in this region, whether you are Jewish, Muslim, Christian — they have now been improved and will continue to be improved in so many profound ways," he added.
"The United States Embassy enjoys warm relations with Ariel University, and we are inspired by its contributions to Israeli society and to the scientific world," said the ambassador.
Friedman is notorious for his longstanding personal support for the Israeli colonisation of the occupied Palestinian territory, and is a key influence in the shaping of Trump administration policy.
US casino magnate – and Trump mega-donor – Sheldon Adelson gave $20 million to Ariel University for expansion purposes, including the medical school, which is named for him and his wife Miriam.
The Adelsons were present at yesterday's ceremony, along with MK Naftali Bennett; Bennett, as education minister, steered through new legislation last February which placed settlement-based higher education institutions under the authority of the Council for Higher Education.
Speaking at the event yesterday, Bennett boasted of a "huge" celebratory moment.
"No longer is there a Green Line," Bennett said, in remarks carried by the Jerusalem Post. "We are one [united] Israel and that is how it should be. We are going to serve everyone here."
Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman was also present. "The Health Ministry's professional position has always been that politics and medicine should not be mixed," he said. "The State of Israel invests in its health [care system], which is among the best in the world."