Washington Clarifies It Views the West Bank as ‘Occupied’ by Israel
i24 News – US State Department spokesman Ned Price affirmed Wednesday night Washington’s position on the West Bank, referring to it as “occupied.”
The matter came under scrutiny after the first human rights report under President Joe Biden maintained his predecessor’s language on “Israel, West Bank and Gaza” instead of the previously used — “Israel and the Occupied Territories.”
“It is a historical fact that Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights after the 1967 war,” Price told reporters.
“The 2020 Human Rights Report does use the term ‘occupation’ in the context of the current status of the West Bank. This has been the longstanding position of previous administrations of both parties over the course of many decades,” he concluded.
The report under Biden, which covers events in 2020, explicitly stated that its language was not “meant to convey a position on any final status issues to be negotiated between the parties to the conflict, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the borders between Israel and any future Palestinian state.”
However, the change of terminology did indicate some change in tone by the Biden administration.
It remains to be seen what formulation will be used in the next report.