The administration of US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Israel’s control over the West Bank is “occupation,” clarifying its position after a study appeared to downplay the phrase, using terminology used by Donald Trump’s administration.
This stance of the Biden administration had been pre supposedly incoming since the day Biden assumed office. It was believed the Palestine lobby of the hard left-Islamist can pressure Tel Aviv, but while the US administration has certainly adhered to pressure, the same cannot be said for Israel.
State Department Speaker Ned Price told reporters that the annual report of the State Department on human rights “use the word ‘occupation’ in relation to West Bank’s current status.” “This has been the longstanding position of previous administrations of both parties over the course of many decades,” he said.
The annual human rights report’s section on “Israel and the Occupied Territories” was renamed “Israel, West Bank, and Gaza” under Trump’s pro-Israel stance.
The first of Biden’s reports, published on Tuesday, used the same formula but stated that the language was not intended to express any position. According to Lisa Peterson, the top State Department human rights official, the study usually uses geographical names and that “Israel, West Bank, and Gaza” was simpler and clearer for readers.
Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, challenged precedent by visiting a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and announcing that he disagrees with the international consensus that such building is illegal, suggesting that Tel Aviv should be free to annex Palestinian territory.
Trump also acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israel’s occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but it still has jurisdiction over the territory’s airspace and boundaries, which is ruled by Hamas.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that the US will not undo Trump’s Jerusalem decisions, but will work harder to achieve an independent Palestinian state.
The exit polls in Israel’s 4th election over the course of two years has indicated that a very pro-right wing government will take power in Israel with Netanyahu as their Prime Minister. The right-wing parties that Netanyahu is sure to form an alliance with having a diverging stance than that of the US administration.
Biden’s ploy to distance Israel from its long term ambition to take over the West Bank completely will completely backfire. Netanyahu has a clear ambition over the West Bank and so do his allies in Israel.