Mike Pompeo: Israel's West Bank settlements are NOT illegal

Mail Online | 10/1/2017 | Associated Press;David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor For Dailymail.com
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the U.S. is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the latest in a series of Trump administration moves that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood.

Pompeo repudiated a 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are 'inconsistent with international law.' The move angered Palestinians and immediately put the U.S. at odds with other nations working to end the conflict.

Trump - Administration - Opinion - Basis - US

The Trump administration views the opinion, the basis for long-standing U.S. opposition to expanding the settlements, as a distraction and believes any legal questions about the issue should be addressed by Israeli courts, Pompeo said.

'Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,' Pompeo said. 'The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace.'

US - Efforts - Statehood - President - Donald

U.S. moves that have weakened Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood have included President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the movement of the U.S. Embassy to that city and the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington.

The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem promptly issued a travel warning to Americans, anticipating what could be violent reactions.

US - Embassy - US - Citizens - Travel

'The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens in or considering travel to or through Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness in light of the current environment,' the embassy said in a statement.

'Individuals and groups opposed to the Secretary of State´s recent announcement may target U.S. government facilities, U.S. private interests, and U.S. citizens.'

President - Mahmoud - Abbas - Spokesman - Nabil

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, condemned Pompeo's announcement...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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