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Pompeo: US No Longer Recognizes «Israeli» Settlements as Breaking Int’l Law

Pompeo: US No Longer Recognizes «Israeli» Settlements as Breaking Int’l Law
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By Staff, Agencies

In a Monday statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Washington no longer regards illegal “Israeli” settlements in the West Bank as violating international law, reversing the Obama administration’s position and taking no legal position on the question or that of the “Israeli” occupation of the West Bank itself.

Pompeo announced the US would repudiate its previous legal opinion on the status of the settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds [Jerusalem]. The US will no longer adopt a position on the legality of those settlements, breaking with the Obama administration’s decision that they did violate international law.

More than 600,000 “Israeli” settlers reside in the illegal settlements scattered across the territories, which “Israel” seized in 1967.

However, the occupied West Bank is also home to 2.7 million Palestinian Arabs, with another 327,000 living in East al-Quds [Jerusalem], most of whom live under military occupation amid the “Israeli” settlements.

Since 1978, the Legal Adviser of the Department of State has regarded “Israeli” settlements in the occupied territories as explicitly contravening the Fourth Geneva Convention. However, when President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he reversed that decision; Pompeo indicated Monday the US was returning to the Reagan-era position.

“There will never be a judicial resolution” to the conflict, Pompeo said, noting it can only be solved by negotiations between the “Israelis” and Palestinians.

However, the Trump administration has previously recognized al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the “Israeli” entity's so-called capital, a position also opposed by the United Nations. Pompeo clarified the US was taking no position on the "final status" of the boundaries of the city.

The US "deal of the century" plan, forwarded earlier this year by White House adviser Jared Kushner, has tried to disentangle the 70-year-long conflict with economic incentives.

The United Nations has regarded the settlements as illegal, with numerous resolutions denouncing both the “Israeli” occupation as well as the settlement of those lands as unquestionably illegal, calling on the apartheid “Israeli” regime to abandon the projects.

In recent months, the “Israeli” entity’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to push forward with incorporating the West Bank settlements into the entity, a move widely interpreted as a prelude to annexation. Netanyahu said Monday the US move "rights a historical wrong."

The “Israeli” entity’s so-called foreign minister praised Pompeo's comments, saying the entity welcomes the US decision and thanking the Trump administration for its support. However, the Jordanian foreign minister denounced the decision, warning of "dangerous consequences" if the US changed its position on “Israeli” settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Following Pompeo's announcement, the US embassy in al-Quds [Jerusalem] issued a travel warning for al-Quds as well as the West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, all Palestinian-majority areas.