US Ambassador: Israel occupies

just 2 percent of West Bank

JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Israel raised eyebrows Thursday by saying that Israel occupies a tiny portion of the West Bank — just 2 percent — and that settlements there are part of the Jewish state proper.

The comments angered the Palestinians and are at odds with decades of U.S policy in the Mideast.

“I think the settlements are part of Israel,” American Ambassador David Friedman said in an interview with the Israeli news site Walla.

He refrained from answering when asked if settlements would be removed in a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“They (Israelis) are only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank,” he said.

A State Department spokeswoman later said Friedman’s remarks “should not be ready as a change in U.S. policy.”

“I’m aware of what he said,” spokeswoman Heath Nauert told reporters in Washington. “His comments — and I want to be crystal clear about this — should not be read as a way to prejudge the outcome of any negotiations that the U.S. would have with the Israelis and the Palestinians. It should also not indicate a shift in U.S. policy.”

Paris robbery suspect said to

have written Kardashian West

PARIS (AP) — The alleged mastermind behind the Paris robbery of Kim Kardashian West has written the reality TV star an apology letter from his prison cell.

A person familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Thursday that suspect Aomar Ait Khedache sent the letter to the investigating judge and that Kardashian West’s lawyers have had access to it.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because French legal rules prohibit anyone from disclosing elements of an ongoing investigation.

TMZ website first reported on the letter. It quoted Khedache as writing he regrets his actions and realizes the psychological damage he caused. Kardashian West was held at gunpoint during the 2016 jewelry heist.

The person familiar with the case says the translated quotes TMZ published seem consistent with what the suspect wrote in French.