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Ambassador David Friedman on CNN, July 30, 2019

United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who is part of the US peace plan negotiating team, on Tuesday night told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that he believes in giving an autonomy to Palestinians, not a state.

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Ambassador Friedman said that the limits of the Palestinian autonomy would be defined by the security needs of the State of Israel.

“We believe in Palestinian autonomy,” he said, “We believe in Palestinian self-governance. We believe that the autonomy should be extended up until the point where it interferes with Israeli security.”

Asked whether President Trump is committed to a two-state solution, Friedman said the administration has not been using the term “state,” but not because the United States supports a single-state solution, but because the term “state” carries many problematic issues.

“I don’t think anyone responsible in Israel is pushing for a one-state solution… I don’t think there is a serious political movement in Israel for a one-state solution, and I don’t think any of the acts Israel has taken or we’ve taken over the past two years is driving us to that point,” he said, but cautioned: “The last thing the world needs is a failed Palestinian state. Right now the Palestinian government is so weak.”

The ambassador supported Netanyahu’s cabinet’s decision to build 715 housing units for Arabs in Area C of Judea and Samaria, which is under full Israeli control, saying that “this is something that has not happened in a long time. We really care about improving the quality of life of the Palestinians, we think it is good for Israel and the Palestinians.”

In June, Friedman told the NY Times that Israel has the right to impose its civilian rule over the Jewish settlements in Area C.

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