His comments were widely interpreted as support for the current push by settlers for Israeli sovereignty to be applied to parts of the West Bank - despite the fact that Friedman insisted the United States doesn't have a stance on this possibility. The State Department official said they had nothing further to add when asked if the U.S. considers Israeli settlement construction to be illegal.
The Israeli left was also outraged, and Peace Now even called for Friedman to be fired. "These are all things that we'd want to understand, and I don't want to prejudge".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged ahead of April elections to begin annexing West Bank settlements.
"The administration's position on the settlements has not changed".
Ofer Cassif, lawmaker for the mostly Arab party Hadash-Ta'al, wrote to Friedman asking him to revoke his comments.
"We have said it many times, that all the money in the world, if it is being put to us in exchange for giving up on our right to Jerusalem as our capital or the right to establish our independent Palestinian state, we will choose the second and not the first", he stated. "In recent years", Cassif claimed, "U.S. intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has only led to a worsening of the situation and prevented a just solution".
Hagit Ofran of Peace Now rejects all efforts to play down Friedman's comments.
"What reasoning could justify Friedman's logic that Israel has the right to annex parts of the West Bank?" the ministry asked. "All talks, official and unofficial, since Camp David of 2000, have used the 1967 borders as the basis", she said.
But they discovered that the vehicle was in fact carrying members of the Mistaravim - undercover Israeli forces disguised as Palestinians - the Palestinian news outlet added.
Irving will become free agent
If Boston obliges, that would be a deal worth just shy of $190 million using projected salary cap figures for 2019-20. Along with the Nets, the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have been linked to Irving.
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