JERUSALEM (AP) — The NBA has apologized and removed wording from its website referring to “Palestine-occupied territory” on Friday after complaints by an Israeli minister.
Israeli sports minister Miri Regev had sent a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver calling Palestine “an imaginary ‘state’,” and asking for the reference to be removed from the basketball league’s website.
“We do not produce the country listings for NBA.com and as soon as we became aware of it, the site was updated,” said Kathy Behrens, the NBA’s President for Social Responsibility. “We apologize for this oversight, and have corrected it.”
The U.N. along with most of the international community considers the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in the 1967 war that the Palestinians claim for a future state, as occupied territory.
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Regev, a hawkish minister from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, thanked Silver on Friday for removing the language, saying “Israel’s lands are not occupied; therefore what was written was false and should have been deleted.” She added that the NBA listing was not in line with President Donald Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump’s declaration this month sparked protests across the Palestinian territories, and Palestinian leaders said the U.S. could no longer serve as a Mideast peace broker.