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US ambassador attacks leftwing Israeli newspaper

AFP  |  Jerusalem 

The American to attacked an Israeli leftwing newspaper today, questioning whether it had any "dignity" after a vitriolic column.

The quarrel erupted after newspaper criticised US David Friedman, personally selected by Donald Trump, for his support of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In the wake of the murder of an Israeli rabbi and father of four from the Har Bracha settlement on Monday, Friedman tweeted that he had provided an ambulance for the community 20 years ago.

Friedman then criticised Palestinian "leaders" for praising the killing, although Palestinian Mahmud Abbas said nothing about it.

In response Haaretz, which opposes settlement building in the Palestinian territories, ran a column by saying that "with Friedman's ambulance or without it, Har Bracha (literally, 'Mountain of Blessing') is a mountain of curses."

It accused Friedman, who was Trump's before being confirmed as in May 2017, of "encouraging and funding war crimes and violations of international law".

"What has become of .@? Four young children are sitting shiva (mourning) for their murdered father and this publication calls their community a 'mountain of curses.' Have they no decency?" Friedman tweeted on Friday.

In a reply on Twitter, publisher said on that "is right" and that the US administration's support for and its settlement policies was causing bloodshed.

"As long as the policy of that your Government and yourself support is obstructing (the) peace process, practical annexation of the territories, perpetuating apartheid, fighting terror but willing to pay its price, there will be more Shivas," Schocken wrote.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the and east that are considered illegal under international law.

Relations between and the Palestinians have been severely strained since Trump's December decision to recognise as Israel's capital and move the US embassy there.

In remarks published today, Trump called the move "a very big point" in his first year as

Speaking to daily, Trump said that both Israel and the Palestinians "will have to make hard compromises to reach a peace agreement.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 20:00 IST