Palestinian gunman kills three Israelis in West Bank

Americans for Peace Now urge firing of Ambassador Friedman

The Prime Minister raised the issue of the Palestinians' refusal to condemn yesterday's terrorist attack, the Palestinian call to try Israelis before the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the Palestinian accession to Interpol - a step which violates signed agreements with Israel.

State Department officials were quick to insist that U.S. policy is that the settlements are not part of Israel and that this has not changed.

US President Donald Trump is seeking to restart frozen peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. According to long-held USA policy comporting with worldwide law, all territory captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967 is occupied territory, under dispute, the permanent status of which will be determined in negotiations between Israel and the PLO, serving as representative of the Palestinian people.

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is calling on President Trump to recall US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman for making statements that blatantly contradict long-held United States policy, as well as objective facts and global law. He said that he views West Bank settlements as part of Israel, with "important nationalistic, historic, religious significance", adding that the term "two-state solution" has lost its meaning.

"His comments - and I want to be crystal clear about this - should not be read as a way to prejudge the outcome of any negotiations that the USA would have with the Israelis and the Palestinians,"said spokeswoman Heather Nauert".

Elsewhere, Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday at dawn, several Palestinians during invasions and searches of homes in the occupied West Bank, and clashed with many youngsters near Jerusalem.

"I think that was always the expectation when resolution 242 was adopted in 1967", Friedman said.

Fabrice COFFRINI

"So there was always supposed to be some notion of expansion into the West Bank, but not necessarily expansion into the entire West Bank", he continued. And I think that's exactly what ... I mean, they're only occupying 2% of the West Bank.

The illegal construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands serves as the major obstacle to a peaceful two-state settlement of the decade's long conflict.

Worldwide law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.

Another Palestinian official said: "Israel occupies 100% of the West Bank".

Friedman's remarks are "very bad news for the future of any American attempt to make peace in the Middle East", Shaath added.

The Palestinians have limited autonomy in 40 percent of the area, with Israel in full control over the remaining 60 percent.

"I don't know where that came from", Nauert said about Friedman's "2 percent" assessment.

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