US Ambassador: Israel occupies just 2 percent of West Bank

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The Palestinian leader appears to take Trump seriously. It seems that President Trump has convinced himself to join this game by believing that he is the one who can broker an Israeli- Palestinian peace deal.

David Friedman also told the Israeli news site Walla on Thursday that Jewish settlements "are part of Israel". Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the UN, has called the database "shameful" and said her country is considering pulling out of the UN Human Rights Council.

Abbas has issued similar threats before.

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Malki said on Thursday that the Palestinian leadership would not accept any US -backed peace arrangement that would undermine the rights of the Palestinian people.

The senior Israeli official confirmed what a top European Union diplomat had reported back to colleagues in Brussels.

The existing borders, the 1967 borders, were viewed by everybody as not secure, so Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn't need for peace and security.

Al-Ayyam published the full text of the resolution and reported on reactions, mainly those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who threatened reprisal against the Palestinian Authority for its action.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein has warned scores of Israeli and foreign companies about their operations in Israel's illegal West Bank settlements, Israeli daily Haaretz reported late Wednesday. Israel has some 1.8 million Arab citizens and 6.5 million Jews, according to its Central Bureau of Statistics.

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Israel demolishes the homes of Palestinian attackers as a deterrent measure, but Palestinians consider the policy collective punishment. Although the annexation is not internationally recognized, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed never to divide the city.

According to the newspaper, al-Hussein began sending letters earlier this month to 150 Israeli and foreign companies warning them that they would be added to a blacklist of companies doing business in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. "Most people would say there is no chance whatsoever, but I think that with the ability of Bibi and the other side - I really think we have a chance".

This week, three Israelis were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist outside Jerusalem.

Israeli hard-liners have offered a host of reasons to oppose Palestinian independence. I mean, they're only occupying 2% of the West Bank.

But they have struggled to provide an answer if the Palestinians give up their aspirations for independence and instead seek equality and Israeli voting rights.

It quoted Foreign Minister Riyad Malki saying that Palestine will not be deterred by Netanyahu's threats and that it will continue seeking membership in global organizations. But since Trump's election, Netanyahu has stopped talking about a two-state solution. UNESCO also approved Palestinian membership, prompting the US and Israel to suspend funding out of protest.

Palestinian officials say his speech was meant to rouse an worldwide community that has stopped paying attention to them and to remind the world that the alternatives to inaction are worse.

"Today's lies and excuses have proven once again that the Palestinian leadership is a serial evader of peace", he said. His aides admit there are no immediate plans to disband the internationally backed Palestinian Authority.

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