US envoy said to ask State Department to stop calling West Bank ‘occupied’

American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attends a meeting of the lobby for Israel–United States relations at the Knesset, July 25, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Washington reportedly refuses David Friedman’s request to change terminology, but Trump will have the final say

By TOI Staff | The Times of Israel

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has reportedly asked the US State Department to stop using the term “occupied” in official documents referring to Israeli control over the West Bank.

According to a report by the Kan public broadcaster on Tuesday, the State Department refused.

However, due to pressure “from above” the two sides agreed that the issue will be discussed again and that US President Donald Trump will have the final say, the report said.

Friedman has in the past run afoul of his State Department superiors over his views on the West Bank.

In September, the US State Department publicly rejected remarks he made pertaining to Israel’s presence in the West Bank as not reflective of the administration’s stance.

At the time, spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters that Friedman’s comments in an interview with the Hebrew-media Walla news website, in which he said he considers West Bank settlements to be part of Israel should “not be read as a shift in US policy.”

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