1 \\ BREAKING: Israel and the U.S. will announce tomorrow they are expending the scientific cooperation agreements between the countries so that they will include the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials told me
2 \\ Why it matters: This is a substantial shift in U.S. policy. Until today the U.S. government was not allowed to spend tax payers money in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The new agreements will allow it
3 \\ The agreements will be signed by Netanyahu & U.S. ambassador David Friedman at the Ariel university in the West Bank. The agreements concern three joint U.S.-Israeli foundations for scientific cooperation that invest government money in R&D in joint U.S.-Israeli projects
4 \\ The agreements which were first signed in the 1970’s included a territorial clause that did not allow to spend money from the foundations in Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 lines. As a result there were no U.S. government investments in R&D projects in the settlements
5 \\ In the amended U.S.-Israel science agreements the territorial clause that refers to the 1967 lines will be deleted
6 \\ Israeli official told me this U.S. policy shift was led by U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman. The official said Friedman wanted to make this move as a gesture for Netanyahu & the settlers after WB annexation was halted as part of the normalization deal with the UAE
7 \\ The Israeli official told me this move signals U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank. When I asked Ambassador Friedman about this he denied and said this doesn’t represent U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank
8 \\ Israeli minister for higher education Zeev Elkin didn’t agree with Friedman. Elkin tweeted: “This is a big achievement for Israel’s sovereignty in the Judea & Samaria (The West Bank). It is another step towards international recognition of our rights in Judea & Samaria”. END
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