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Palestinians demand US ambassador Friedman added to 'terror list'

Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas has boycotted the US since Trump's Jerusalem decision [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 March, 2018

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A new Palestinian report criticises the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, for promoting "ethnic cleansing and black racism".

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has called for the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman to be added to a "global terror list" as part of escalating tension between the envoy and Palestinians, The Times of Israel reported.

The PA Ministry of Information released a new report, titled "Friedman, the Ambassador of Settlements and Lawyer of Extremism", that said Friedman "promot[ed] ethnic cleansing and black racism".

It is not clear which global terror list the PA was referring to.

Last week, Friedman criticised the PA for not condemning deaths of two Israeli soldiers over the weekend. 

The PA leader Mahmoud Abbas responded by calling Friedman a "settler and "son of a dog" as part of an escalating war of words between the two officials.

"More than one official has said that," he added. "The ambassador, David Friedman, said they're building on their own land. You son of a dog, building on their own land?! You are a settler and your family are settlers!", he said.

"Son of a dog" is a mild insult in Arabic, somewhat akin to "jerk".

At an anti-semitism conference in Jerusalem, Friedman made reference to the insult before asking "anti-semitism or political discourse? I leave this up to you?".

The US Department of State has characterised Abbas' comments as "outrageous and unhelpful".

The PA's foreign ministry noted that Abbas was referring to Friedman's "support for Israeli settlements", which are illegal under international law. It also highlighted Friedman's opposition to the two-state solution.

"Friedman's conduct as a supporter of the internationally criminalised settler project is clearly visible," read the Ministry of Information's new report.

Friedman was US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer before being tapped for the position of ambassador. He was a controversial hire because of his support for Israeli settlements. 

Abbas' rhetoric against Israel and the US has sharpened since Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Palestinian leader has boycotted the US administration since the December announcement. 

In January, Abbas called Israel a "colonial project" unrelated to Judaism. 

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