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Iran Press TV

Israel settlements in Palestine are illegal, EU says, US doesn't agree

Iran Press TV

Monday, 18 November 2019 10:05 PM

The European Union is sticking to its stance that Israeli settlement constructions in Palestine are illegal under international law, a long held view Washington has started to dispute now.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement on Monday put the Trump administration at odds with the EU and the stated efforts to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

"The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

Mogherini was reacting to Pomepo's abandoning of the US four-decade-old position that building settlements for the Israelis in Palestinian territories is "inconsistent with international law."

The US top diplomat, a former CIA chief, claimed the decision would help strengthen the US position in its Mideast initiative, authored by Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner.

'Trump's rule of jungle'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the new stance "another great achievement to our policy."

"People of Israel, this is a historic day and another great achievement to our policy." said the Israeli premier. "After president Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, recognized our sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the US administration has now put an end to the lie that settlements are illegal. I thank President Trump and I thank Secretary of State Pompeo."

Palestinians have condemned the US green light for a boost in the Tel Aviv regime's expansive policy, with Palestinian official Saeb Erekat, asserting that it "must be condemned."

"They are war crimes," he said of the illegal settlements. "And the statement of Mr. Pompeo… is absolutely rejected and must be condemned, because once super powers, once the Trump administration decide to undermine international law, once they become an administration that is pro-Israel's occupation, pro-Israel war crimes, this constitutes a major threat to international peace and security and this is turning the international community from the rules of international law, the rules of solving conflicts by peaceful means into the rules of the jungle."

Much of the international community regards the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on the occupied lands.

The Israeli regime has faced widespread global condemnation over settlement constructions in the occupied Palestinian lands.

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