David Friedman
David Friedman Hillel Meir/ TPS

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman's statement that Israel has the right to annex at least "some" parts of Judea and Samaria drew criticism from Israel's extreme left, as well as from the Palestinian Authority.

Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official Saeb Erekat called on world leaders to boycott the US-led Bahrain summit, claiming annexation would be a "war crime under international law." He also claimed any such interference by the US would be "US partnership in the crime of Israeli settlement plans."

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters: "No plan for unilateral annexation by Israel of any portion of the West Bank has been presented by Israel to the US, nor is it under discussion."

MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash), slammed the statement, saying that "the meaningless words of the US ambassador to Israel regarding the annexation of conquered territories show us what US President Donald Trump's 'America first' policy means."

"There is no law or international law and there is no United Nations resolution like 242. Only the American empire decides what is right and what is wrong. Neither the Israeli government nor the US government will hide the truth: The West Bank, Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem are conquered Palestinian territories which will be redeemed and returned to their owners in accordance with their law as part of a proper peace agreement."

Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg said, "As long as Friedman is the US ambassador to Israel and not to a country of settlements, he needs to know that annexation is a disaster for the State of Israel. The Ambassador is not here in order to help create extremist messianic settlements, which work to destroy any chance of a peaceful and secure life without occupation. Peace is in the interests of the Israelis and Palestinians, who also live here. Even if the American government has decided to serve only the extreme right wing."

"Ambassador Friedman is a Trojan horse sent by the right-wing settlers to destroy Israel's interests and chance of peace," the leftist Peace Now NGO stated. "Friedman's extremist and irresponsible statements, just prior to the publication of President Trump's peace plan, do not allow room for doubt: The US President, if his intends to serve as a fair broker, needs to order Friedman to pack his bags tonight."

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