(August 26, 2019 / JNS) The U.S. State Department website has dropped “Palestinian Territories” from its list of countries and areas in the Middle East.
It is unknown when the listing was removed. The Trump administration has been denying the change.
“You can ask Mike Pompeo,” said U.S. President Donald Trump when asked by a reporter at the Group of Seven, or G7, meetings in Biarritz, France, over whether removing the Palestinian Authority from the department’s website was “conducive” to the administration’s peace initiative.
“The website is being updated,” a State Department official told JNS. “There’s been no change to our policy.”
Archived versions of the department’s website under former U.S. President Barack Obama and his predecessors included the “Palestinian Territories” listing on its “Near Eastern Affairs: Countries and Other Areas” page.
Mideast analyst Aaron Magid first noticed the change on Friday.
Just noticed this: @StateDept has removed Palestinians completely from the Middle East. It used to be Palestinian territories or the Palestinian Authority. Now, Palestinians don’t exist https://t.co/zCGNfuaizy pic.twitter.com/n59IMwTwHZ
— Aaron Magid (@AaronMagid) August 23, 2019
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesperson, blasted the move, saying in a statement on Sunday that it was “consistent with the extreme Israeli right’s ideas and an unprecedented decline in American foreign policy.”
He continued that the deletion “comes in the context of a series of hopeless [American] attempts to erase the Palestinian issue and the people” and added that the U.S. administration “should know that there will be no peace, security and stability in the region without the establishment of a Palestinian state along June 4, 1967, borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
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