In its annual human rights report, the US State Department chose to remove the term “occupied territories” when referring to the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights.
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The US State Department dropped the term “occupied territories” from its annual report on human rights violations released on Friday.
In past years, the section of the report that deals with Israel was titled “Israel and the Occupied Territories,” but this year it was changed to “Israel, Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza.”
A US official said the name change does not reflect a change of policy, but was done in order “to refer to the commonly used geographic names of the area.”
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, however, praised the decision and said it was proof that the term “occupied territories” is a lie. “They say if you repeat a lie enough times it becomes the truth, but the truth will always be stronger,” Lieberman tweeted.