U.S. Eases Ban on Funding Projects in West Bank, Golan

Three U.S.-Israeli foundations will no longer be barred from funding projects in the West Bank and Golan Heights, areas Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

The financing proscriptions were lifted from the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, the Binational Science Foundation and the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Foundation, all established in the 1970s.

“These geographic restrictions are no longer consistent with U.S. policy,” the U.S. Embassy said, just days before President Donald Trump seeks re-election in a race that most polls suggest he’ll lose.

It cited the Trump administration’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the southern section of the Golan, and its finding that the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank don’t intrinsically violate international law. Both policies represent a departure from decades of U.S. thinking.

The countries also signed an agreement establishing a new government-to-government framework to facilitate greater scientific cooperation, conduct joint research and innovation activities, and provide intellectual property protections.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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