U.S. ambassador: Israel can annex part of West Bank

Israeli settlement being built in the West Bank
Buildings under construction in Gilo, a Jewish settlement in the mainly Palestinian eastern sector of Jerusalem with the West Bank land of Beit Jala in the background, June 6. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador David Friedman told the New York Times on Saturday that Israel has the right to annex some, but "unlikely all" of the Palestinian West Bank.

Why it matters: Friedman's proclamation comes less than a month from when White House adviser Jared Kushner is expected to reveal the economic details of his Middle East peace plan in Bahrain.

Expert Voices

Pushing one-state solution in Senate risks Israeli and U.S. interests

Chris van Hollen and Lindsey Graham with Mike Pompeo
Senators Chris Van Hollen (D–Md.) and Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), co-drafters of the Senate resolution, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

If Israel succeeds in its reported attempts to block the U.S. Senate from expressing support for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, the result could further destabilize the Middle East and endanger American interests across the region.

The big picture: Support for a two-state solution has been U.S. policy since the George W. Bush administration, as it could ensure Israel remains a Jewish-majority democracy while also providing justice for the Palestinians. This bipartisan consensus has broad political support among the American electorate.