The bill strings together Israel proper and the settlements, contradicting US policy on the West Bank.
A new US trade bill cleared its final hurdle on Thursday after being voted through the Senate 75-20, with the White House announcing that President Barack Obama would be signing it into law.
credits/photos : BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (AFP)
However, the statement from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted that one of the bill’s clauses “contravenes longstanding US policy towards Israel and the occupied territories, including with regard to Israeli settlement activity.”
The statement called the White House’s acceptance of the clause a “bipartisan compromise.”
Earnest was referring to Section 909 of the bill, which stipulates that the US must “discourage politically motivated boycotts of, divestment from and sanctions against Israel” and refers to “Israeli-controlled territories” — meaning the West Bank — as among the areas where trade must be protected under this clause.
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