Palestinian president slams US dropping 'occupied' in report

Palestinian president slams US dropping 'occupied' in report

Palestinian president slams US dropping 'occupied' in report

In the latest annual global human rights report, the U.S. has stopped using the term "occupied" when talking about areas of Palestine controlled by Israel, including the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza.

"What we try to do is to report on the human rights situation in those territories, and so you're just trying to find the way of describing the place that you're reporting on", he said.

"'Occupied territory' has a legal meaning to it".

"Frankly I don't think the Russians didn't know that this would be going on", he continued, adding that the release of the Israeli intelligence on Hezbollah's Golan project "dovetails with Israel's claims that Iranians are defying Russia's wishes and that the Iranians aren't really Assad allies, that they will continue to do their own thing". Additionally, previous year the USA opposed the latest United Nations motion calling on Israel to end its occupation of the disputed area.

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The administration said that the change in rhetoric does not imply any policy changes, but were otherwise unclear about their reasons for the new phrasing. That is my understanding of our current thing.

Netanyahu travels to Washington later this month to address the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, and Israeli media reports said he also plans to hold talks with Trump, with the Golan recognition issue on the agenda.

There was no immediate comment from Israeli leaders on the USA terminology change, which stopped short of a formal declaration accepting the territorial claim. Thank you, President Trump, for another important step on the path of truth and justice - for the Golan Heights and for Judea and Samaria.

Hours before the USA report was released, Israel accused a suspected Lebanese Hezbollah operative who was previously held in Iraq over the killing of five US military personnel of now setting up a guerrilla network on the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan for cross-border attacks.

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The Golan - like the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories also taken by Israel in the June 1967 conflict - is regarded internationally as occupied under a U.N. Security Council resolution passed later that year. "But my understanding from the policy bureaus on this is that there's no change in our outlook or our policy".

Graham visited Israel this week and spent time touring the Gaza border and Golan Heights.

"We are not going to allow Hezbollah to establish a terror infrastructure on the Golan capable of striking Israeli civilians", said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, Israeli military spokesman.

In May of a year ago, Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said his country was close to convincing Washington to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Because to give this territory up would be a strategic nightmare for the State of Israel.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Graham and called him a friend of Israel.

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