U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has invited several leaders of the Israeli settlement movement to the American embassy’s July Fourth celebration for the first time, highlighting a shift in policy towards the settlements from previous administrations.
“It’s an interesting change of approach to Judea and Samaria by the American government, which until [President Donald] Trump’s election definitely placed [the settlements] outside of the fence [of acceptability],” the Samaria Regional Council said in a statement.
Among the settlement movement leaders invited to the July Fourth celebration are Avi Ro’eh, head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria; Yossi Dagan, leader of the Samaria Regional Council; Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel; Ariel Mayor Eli Shaviro; and Oded Revivi, chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, a coordinating body for Israeli settlements’ municipal councils.
Two delegations of settlement leaders were also invited to President Trump’s inauguration in January.