Former White House Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt wrote on Monday that the U.S. government does not believe that the extension of Israeli sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria would be illegal and that it is, in fact, permitted by U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan.

“Our view was that the leadership in Ramallah should no longer have a veto on what happens to this land and to the Israelis living there. But to protect the Palestinians, we gave them a lengthy period—four years—to get their house in order so that they, too, could obtain the many benefits contemplated by the vision for peace,” wrote Greenblatt in an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post.

He said that after spending over three years traveling to Arab capitals, “he came to learn that we agree on far more than we disagree on.”

The op-ed was a response to an opinion piece by Yousef al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States, who published an article in at Ynet arguing that applying Israeli sovereignty to the areas under discussion would be illegal.

Greenblatt wrote: “I don’t agree that the extension of Israeli sovereignty to the areas being contemplated would be an illegal seizure of land. The U.S. government also does not believe so,” which is why, he said, “Trump’s vision for peace provides for this concept.”
He also took issue with the UAE ambassador’s term “Palestinian land,” saying “it is not Palestinian land. It is land that is disputed … .”

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