Controversial new US ambassador arrives in Israel

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, during a ceremony commemorating Israeli Independence Day. (AP)

Controversial new US ambassador to Israel David Friedman arrived in the country on Monday to take up his post, days ahead of a visit by US President Donald Trump.

The Israeli foreign ministry confirmed the arrival of Friedman, who has been a strong supporter of Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

Friedman is due to present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.

The Jewish-American bankruptcy lawyer has expressed skepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the basis of years of US peace efforts.

He has also advocated breaking with decades of precedent and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem, a prospect deeply alarming to Palestinians.

Trump vowed to move the embassy to Jerusalem during his campaign, but has since backed away, saying the move was still being looked at.

Trump is expected to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on May 22 and 23.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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