Israel is claimed to have the right of annexing swathes of the occupied West Bank, US ambassador said on Saturday in the latest comments violating rights and raising concerns about new encroachment plans that may deepen Palestinian opposition to a long-awaited US Mideast peace plan.
Palestinians who already consider US moves irredeemably biased to Israel, have rejected the so-called plan. According to AFP, the latest comments that US ambassador to Israel David Friedman told New York Times newspaper, may represent new nail in the coffin of a peace process that is already on life support.
Friedman, who is a staunch supporter of the Israeli settlements, believes that some degree of annexation of the West Bank would be ‘legitimate’.
“Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank,” he said. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat has said any such policy would be tantamount to “US complicity with Israeli colonial plans.”
Friedman alleges that the Trump plan targets an improved quality of life for Palestinians but would fall well short of a “permanent resolution to the conflict.”
Calling the plan too ‘sensitive’ to be released during an election campaign, Friedman said that its announcement will be set further delayed after the Israeli parliament called a snap general election.
During campaigning for the first general election in April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to annex West Bank Jewish settlements, a move long supported by nearly all lawmakers in his alliance of right-wing and religious parties.