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Washington Clarifies Views on the ‘Israeli-occupied West Bank
By Staff, Agencies
US State Department spokesman Ned Price affirmed Wednesday night Washington’s position on the West Bank, referring to it as “occupied.”
The matter came under scrutiny after the first human rights report under US President Joe Biden maintained his predecessor, Donald Trump’s, language on “‘Israel,’ West Bank and Gaza” instead of the previously used, “Israel’ and the Occupied Territories.”
“It is a historical fact that ‘Israel’ occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights after the 1967 war,” Price told reporters.
“The 2020 Human Rights Report does use the term ‘occupation’ in the context of the current status of the West Bank. This has been the longstanding position of previous administrations of both parties over the course of many decades,” he concluded.
The report under Biden, which covers events in 2020, explicitly stated that its language was not “meant to convey a position on any final status issues to be negotiated between the parties to the conflict, including the specific boundaries of ‘Israeli’ ‘sovereignty’ in [al-Quds], or the borders between ‘Israel’ and any future Palestinian state.”
However, the change of terminology indicated some change in tone by the Biden administration.
It remains to be seen what formulation will be used in the next report.
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