US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has been quoted in a recent article published in the NY Times saying, “I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”
Friedman’s remarks have outraged both the PA and Hamas. Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO’s executive committee, said that Friedman made very clear the vision he shares with U.S. President Donald Trump, and that “annexation of occupied territory is a war crime according to international law”.
A Hamas representative expressed his anger by saying, ”Through these dangerous statements, the US is perpetuating the aggression on the Palestinian people and working on liquidating the remaining Palestinian rights.”
”Hamas holds the US administration responsible for the repercussions of these dangerous remarks that incentivize the Israeli occupation to commit more violations against the Palestinian people and their rights and lands, stressing that all segments of the Palestinian people are determined to resist the occupation, defend their rights, and fight off the Israeli settlement expansion,” the statement says.
After Friedmans remarks, the State Department wanted to calm things down by issuing a short statement saying that the US position regarding Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria has not changed.