May 19, 2024
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In Rare Visit Beyond Green Line, Ambassador David Friedman Urges Dialogue

(Israel Hayom/JNS) U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visited the city of Ariel, over the Green Line in Judea and Samaria, this week to attend an event promoting commercial ties between Israelis and Palestinians.

His visit was unprecedented as foreign envoys, including those from the U.S., have not crossed the Green Line until now for purposes other than to pay condolence calls to bereaved relatives.

At the event, Friedman said the U.S. was willing to help, but asked, “Are the Palestinians?”

The event was also attended by Palestinian business people wishing to strengthen economic ties with their Israeli counterparts. But because of the dangers they face from their own people if they cooperate with Israelis, they preferred not to have their attendance made public.

Friedman told the audience he was a big believer in interpersonal meetings between Israelis and Palestinians, and that such meetings would be the building block for any future peace deal. He also said open dialogue was the only way to cultivate greater understanding between the sides.

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