US to cease scientific, tech cooperation with Israeli entities beyond Green Line

Israeli West Bank apartheid wall
Israeli apartheid wall. (File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The US has informed Israel of its decision to cease scientific and technological cooperation with entities located in the occupied West Bank, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem. اضافة اعلان

This move marks a return to a longstanding policy that had been reversed under former US President Donald Trump, according to a report by Israeli media.

Returning to pre-1967 Green Line guidelines
Israeli public broadcaster, Kan, reported that the US has reverted to its directive, stating that scientific and technological cooperation would not be conducted in areas beyond the 1967 Green Line, which are subject to negotiations on their permanent status.

This policy had been in place before but was briefly overturned during the Trump administration.

In a briefing with reporters, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen expressed his objection to the decision, deeming it wrong. Cohen highlighted that the Israeli government had previously fully reimbursed parties affected by similar decisions.

However, there was no immediate response from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government regarding the matter.

Reversal of Trump-era policy
During Donald Trump's presidency, an agreement was signed between Prime Minister Netanyahu and then-US ambassador David Friedman, removing previous geographic restrictions on scientific cooperation between the two countries.

Three 1970s agreements forming the basis of bilateral scientific collaboration were amended, allowing for cooperative projects regardless of geographical areas.

Focus on two-state solution
An unnamed US State Department official stated that the updated directive aligns with the United States' long-standing position. The official emphasized the US's commitment to working towards negotiations for a two-state solution, where Israel and a viable Palestinian state coexist in peace and security.

The official reassured that scientific cooperation with Israel, known as the "startup nation," would continue to be greatly appreciated.

The Walla news site reported that Israel was informed of the decision approximately two weeks ago, with the primary impact expected to be on research conducted at Ariel University in the West Bank.

While the decision to reverse the Trump administration's policy had been made around two years ago, its relevance became apparent with a recent grant application for a scientific project at Ariel University.

Additionally, the US State Department notified several US ministries about the return to the pre-October 2020 policy.

Israel has previously entered into cooperation agreements that exclude entities located beyond the Green Line. The EU has adopted a comparable stance over the years, refraining from funding projects conducted outside the recognized borders of Israel.

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