The US has informed the Israeli occupation that it will stop collaborating with Israeli entities in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, reversing a policy that was changed under former president Donald Trump.
The move, which was reported by Israeli media on Sunday, is seen as a return to the long-standing US position that these areas are subject to negotiations for a “two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.”
According to the reports, the US State Department told the Israeli occupation that it will no longer support scientific and technological projects in areas that are “beyond the 1967 Green Line and which remain subject to negotiations on their permanent status.”
The decision affects research at Ariel University in the West Bank, as well as other institutions and companies that operate in the disputed territories.
The policy was briefly amended in October 2020, when Trump’s ambassador to the Israeli occupation, David Friedman, signed an agreement with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that removed all geographic restrictions from the bilateral scientific cooperation.
The agreement was seen as a further recognition of the Israeli sovereignty over the territories it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, following Trump’s decisions to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights.
However, the Biden administration has restored the traditional US stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling for a halt to settlement expansion and supporting a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps.
A US State Department official told Israeli media that the updated directive “simply reflects the position of the United States over the years” and that the US is “working toward negotiations for a two-state solution, where Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state.”
The move comes amid growing aggression by the Israeli occupation, including evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, attacking worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and airstrikes in Gaza.