United Nations watchdog warns firms operating on Israel settlements

Israel arrests Palestinian journalist in West Bank

In addition, reports compiled by the United Nations and NGOs suggest up to 39% of all land in the occupied West Bank is under the control of Jewish municipalities, local authorities and regional councils, with Israel effectively prohibiting Palestinian construction and development there.

Trump informed both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during separate meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in NY earlier in September that the US administration was working on a new peace initiative, but still needs time to formalize it.

Malki criticized statements Netanyahu made last Tuesday during a visit to Gush Etzion settlement bloc in the West Bank, celebrating the 50 years of the beginning of the settlement projects in which he said that settlements were made to stay and continue and that Israel would not remove any settlement in the future.

Responding to Friedman, a Palestinian official said to The Guardian that "Israel occupies 100% of the West Bank" and that if he were "a us citizen I would be extremely concerned that my ambassador in Israel is using his position to try to emphasize the importance of settlements to Israel".

The Palestinians, along with much of the global community, view Israel's West Bank settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace.




Trump has called an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord "the ultimate deal", and has sent envoys, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, to meet with the two sides.

While the figure of 2% has been used in the past by Israeli officials to define occupation as the physical footprint of settlement buildings, "area C" - the part of the West Bank under Israeli administrative and security control - accounts for 60% of the West Bank.

The two-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state along side a secure Israel, has always been the preferred outcome of successive USA administrations, who have also been opposed to Israeli settlements. "We'll try to get it done right, not done fast".

Referring to the two-state solution, Friedman said the concept "has lost its meaning, or at least has a different meaning to different people". Israel disputes this, saying the fate of the settlements must be resolved through negotiations with the Palestinians.

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