US president, Donald Trump Source: theatlantic.com

Palestinian MOFA Condemns US policies after State Department drops “Occupied Territories” term in new document

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign and Expatriates said that the current American administration’s policies differs from its predecessors since taking office, not only to differ but also to revoke its commitment and respect for international law that governs the nature of relations between countries.

It confirms on a daily basis, not committing and rebellion against the international order and law. In this context, the current US Administration is directly working to implement these illegitimate and illegal positions on the situation in Palestine and the Palestinian Israeli conflict in accordance with the Israeli position against
international legitimacy and international law and it’s targeting of Palestine.

Any observer can see the continuous and typical performance since the administration took over its tasks, targeting the Palestinians in every occasion, the latest of which, was to stop referring to term  “occupied” in their legal reports of the occupied being to drop the term occupied land since 1967. In order to polish the image of Israel and the removal of the concept of occupation, the Zionist trio are trying to implement Netanyahu’s vision by ignoring the official American position.

This trio is stating that the settlers have the right to build on their land in the West Bank, to disregard the concept of
colonialism, and then they started the pressure on the US State Department to drop the term occupied land from the Palestinian land occupied in 1967 in accordance with Netanyahu’s demands and positions.

Therefore, the American administration is not only biased towards the Israeli position, but fully embraces it to become part of its current ideology and policies. This requires us as Palestinians and Arabs to re-categorize this administration and define the duty to define how to start dealing with it.

The Ministry confirms that the recent US State Department report does not in fact mean anything and does not eliminate the concept of occupied territory according to international law and international legitimacy, but it reveals to us once again the reality of the American positions, especially for those who want to ignore it or avoid seeing it.

This Palestinian position issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs came after the US State Department has released on Saturday a new document that dropped the term “occupied” in a report referring to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights.

Previous US Human Rights Practices reports had a section on “Israel and the Occupied Territories. However, this year’s document refers instead to “Israel, Golan Heights, West Bank, and Gaza.”

The change comes after US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, last December asked the State Department to stop calling the West Bank occupied, which would make a noted departure in US policy.

In response, Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad al-Maliki that the abolition of the US State of the term “occupied territories” and its replacement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will not change the reality and the legal status of the Palestinian territories.

Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio on Sunday morning that Friedman’s attempts to bring down the term occupied territories indicates that the US has completely lost its credibility, and showing  full bias to the occupation and settlements.

To his part, Israeli minister of army, Avigdor Lieberman hailed the decision, saying  “The lie of the occupied Palestinian territories is being exposed.”

“They say that if you repeat a lie enough, it eventually becomes the truth, but the truth will always be stronger,” Liberman tweeted. “The announcement by the US state department is proof of that.”

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights following the six day war in 1967. Since then, the majority of the West Bank has been under Israeli military and civil control. In 2005, Hamas took control of the Gaza strip, which falls now under Israeli siege.