Israel Says US Will Now Fund Research Projects in West Bank, Golan Heights
Israel said on Tuesday the United States was effectively lifting a ban on American funding of Israeli scientific research projects conducted in the West Bank and Golan Heights.
There was no immediate Palestinian comment on the move, announced a week before a US presidential election in which opinion polls show incumbent Donald Trump, hailed by Israel as one of its staunchest allies, trailing Democrat Joe Biden.
Past scientific accords with the US government stipulated that Israeli research projects receiving American grants could not be carried out in areas that came under Israeli control in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The Trump administration last year effectively backed Israel‘s right to build West Bank settlements by abandoning a long-held US position that they were “inconsistent with international law.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the US ambassador to Israel will sign amended scientific cooperation agreements at a “special ceremony” in a West Bank settlement on Wednesday, Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
The revised agreements “will expand scientific cooperation between Israel and the United States to Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights,” the Israeli statement said, using the biblical names for the West Bank.