US Recognizes Israeli Settlements in West Bank as Not “Inconsistent with International Law”
Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the United States “will no longer recognize Israeli settlements” in the West Bank “as per se inconsistent with international law”. However, Secretary Pompeo clarified that “the United States Government is expressing no view on the legal status of any individual settlement.” Responding to the news, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he “spoke on the phone with US President Donald Trump and told him that he had corrected a historic injustice.” Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded that the decision “contradicts totally with international law”, falling in line with his position that “Israeli settlement [in the region] are illegal”.
The Israeli settlements originated from Israeli occupation of territories in the West Bank during the Six-Day War in 1967, and have remained there til present day. Since this occupation, the United Nations Security Council has ruled “that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”.
“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn’t worked”, Secretary Pompeo reasoned. He added the “United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace” and “encourages the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank”.