US envoy to Israel ‘absolutely will not’ visit West Bank settlements

i24NEWS

3 min read
An Israeli border police officer stands guard at an evacuated Israeli settler outpost in the West Bank village of Beita, east of Nablus, October 10, 2021.
AP Photo/Nasser NasserAn Israeli border police officer stands guard at an evacuated Israeli settler outpost in the West Bank village of Beita, east of Nablus, October 10, 2021.

'I don’t want to do things intentionally that would create disrespect or anger among people'

The United States envoy to Israel said Friday that he never visited an Israeli settlement in the West Bank and had no plans to do so, in an effort to avoid inflaming tensions.

When asked whether he would make such a visit in an interview with Ynetnews, Ambassador Thomas Nides said “I absolutely will not.”

“Just like I ask both the Palestinians and Israelis not to take steps that inflame the situation, I don’t want to do things intentionally that would create disrespect or anger among people,” he continued.

“I’ll make mistakes. I’ll say things that will aggravate people… But I don’t want to intentionally anger people.”

Nides arrived to Israel in November following a lengthy confirmation process due to the refusal of Senate Republicans.

Video poster

In explaining his approach to the position, he said that he has no ideology “when it comes to Israel.”

“All I care about is that Israel will remain a strong, democratic, and Jewish state,” he told Ynetnews.

The envoy noted that he continues to support a two-state solution.

“A solution that [US] President Biden, of course, supports, my support for the well-being of the Palestinian people, all of this stems from the belief that Israel will be strengthened this way.”

Nides clarified that Biden’s support for the two-state solution is “in actions, not just words.”

“Does this mean that we will renew the peace process tomorrow? No,” he said.

“We care about the fate of the region, but we do not raise expectations that something will be able to happen tomorrow.”