In its annual global human rights report, the U.S. State Department changed the description of the Golan Heights, dropping the usual reference to the area as "occupied".
The report, released on Wednesday, saw the description of the Golan Heights changed from "Israeli-occupied" to "Israeli-controlled", while another section on the West Bank and Gaza failed to mention the "occupied" or "under occupation" status.
This is the second time that the occupation reference is dropped for the Palestinian territories.
The State Department said that this phrasing does not imply a policy change, noting that the report focuses on human rights rather than legal issues.
"Occupied is not a human rights term," the US ambassador to the Bureau of Human Rights, Michael Kozak, said.