April 1, 2021
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks to the media at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 26, 2021. (Credit: State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha)
Joe Biden's administration confirmed on Wednesday that it considers Israel to be "occupying" Judea and Samaria, AFP reports.
The State Department's annual report on human rights "does use the term 'occupation' in the context of the current status of the West Bank," State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed to reporters.
"This has been the longstanding position of previous administrations of both parties over the course of many decades," he added.
The report, released on Tuesday, kept the formulation used by the Trump administration which renamed the section on "Israel and the Occupied Territories" as "Israel, West Bank and Gaza."
The top State Department official on human rights, Lisa Peterson, said that the report generally uses geographical names and that "Israel, West Bank and Gaza" was easier and clearer for readers.
The Trump administration changed the custom of using the term "Occupied Territories" after former President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and also recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.