US Amb. David Friedman attends official event in West Bank settlement


JERUSALEM (JTA) — David Friedman participated at an event in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, in his position as United States ambassador to Israel.

It is rare for U.S. envoys to Israel to appear in the West Bank in an official capacity.

The event, organized by the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, gathered together Israeli and Palestinian business leaders to discuss the joint economic ventures they are working to launch in the West Bank.

“At the invitation of the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce, I met in Ariel with Palestinian & Israeli business leaders ready, willing & able to advance joint opportunity & peaceful coexistence. People want peace & we are ready to help! Is the Palestinian leadership listening?” Friedman tweeted about the closed door meeting.

U.S. ambassadors to Israel traditionally have not been permitted to cross the Green Line or participate in West Bank activities.

Friedman has previously publicly visited two settlements, both to pay condolence calls.

In January, he visited Otniel to pay a condolence visit to Likud lawmaker Yehudah Glick following the death of his wife. And in July he visited the widow of terror victim Yotam Ovadia and their two children, ages 2 years and 7 months, in the Adam settlement.

Friedman’s predecessor, Daniel Shapiro, also made condolence calls to lawmakers living in the West Bank.

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