Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee waded into Middle East politics by declaring the West Bank to be part of Israel.

Huckabee made the remarks Tuesday while visiting a West Bank settlement.

He told reporters "if you're going to visit Israel you should visit all of Israel, and that would include Judea and Samaria," the biblical names for the West Bank.

His comments are at odds with U.S policy.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians demand the area along with Gaza and east Jerusalem for their future state.

The fate of West Bank settlements is one of the core issues at the heart of the conflict.

Huckabee is visiting Israel to meet with officials to discuss the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran.