Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Trump’s administration outgoing envoy, Jason Greenblatt, has told hard-right Israeli news outlet, Arutz Sheva, that using words like “occupation” and “settlements” undermines chances for peace.
In an interview with the Israeli outlet, Greenblatt defended his record and that of the Trump administration, and doubled down on rhetoric that has alienated the Palestinian leadership.
“The dispute over the territory is a question that can only be resolved in the context of direct negotiations between the parties, not by throwing around the traditional phrases about this conflict that has led to nothing,” Greenblatt said.
“Those who have weaponized the term ‘occupation’ in order to criticize Israel are doing nothing to promote a resolution to this conflict. In fact, they are heavily undermining the chances for peace and the improvement of the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.”
He also praised the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Sinai peninsula, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza strip in 1967, calling it “historical act of defense”.
“As I said in my July 23 remarks to the UN Security Council, many participants in this conflict’s conversation continue to re-litigate the events of 1967, when Israel heroically acted to defend itself against a threat of its very existence.”
Greenblatt also told the news site that he “prefer[s] the term ‘neighbourhoods and cities’ to describe what others call ‘settlements’”, arguing that “use of the term ‘settlements’ is purely political and ignores the reality of what they actually are.”
Israel has held the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip under military occupation since June 1967, and has transferred its civilian population to settlements in the occupied territory.
Settlements have been declared illegal under international law by the United Nations Security Council, the International Court of Justice and International Committee of the Red Cross.