A statement by U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides:
Today COGAT published its revised guidelines. Since February, U.S. Embassy Jerusalem, the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs, and I have aggressively engaged with the Government of Israel on these draft rules – and we will continue to do so in the 45-day lead up to implementation and during the two-year pilot period. I continue to have concerns with the published protocols, particularly regarding COGAT’s role in determining whether individuals invited by Palestinian academic institutions are qualified to enter the West Bank, and the potential negative impact on family unity. It is important to ensure all of these regulations are developed in coordination with key stakeholders, including the Palestinian Authority. I fully expect the Government of Israel to make necessary adjustments during the pilot period to ensure transparency as well as the fair and equal treatment of all U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals traveling to the West Bank.