New US ambassador to Israel David Friedman (C) and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch (R) pray at the Western Wall in the old city of Jerusalem al-Quds on May 15, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
David Friedman, a strong proponent of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian land, has arrived in Israel as the new US ambassador to the Tel Aviv regime.
The Israeli foreign ministry confirmed the arrival of Friedman on Monday, days ahead of a visit by US President Donald Trump.
Friedman, who once served as Trump's bankruptcy lawyer, is critical of the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and supports Israel’s illegal settlement activities in the occupied territories.
The 58-year-old will present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.
Friedman has also backed the idea of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
“I intend to work tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem [al-Quds],” he said in a statement following his nomination in December.
The Palestinians want al-Quds as the capital of their promised future state. The intent to move the US embassy there is seen as the recognition of the city as the capital of an Israeli “state.”
Friedman, a son of an Orthodox rabbi with no previous political experience, has previously argued that the pursuit of a Palestinian state is a “damaging anachronism.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laughs while chairing a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem al-Quds on March 26, 2017.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed Friedman's appointment.
Trump is scheduled to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on May 22 and 23.

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