Palestinians slam US policy reversal on Israeli settlements – Al Jazeera English

Palestinians, legal rights groups, politicians and some others have sharply criticised the Trump administration just after it declared the United States was no for a longer time regarded as Israeli settlements in the occupied West Financial institution “inconsistent” with worldwide regulation.

“Following diligently learning all sides of the lawful discussion, this administration agrees … (the) institution of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with worldwide regulation,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday when making the announcement. 

He said the administration of US President Donald Trump would no longer abide by a 1978 Point out Department legal impression that stated the settlements have been “inconsistent with intercontinental law”.

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According to several United Nations Safety Council resolutions, the most latest in 2016, Israeli settlements are unlawful under intercontinental law as they violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying electric power from transferring its inhabitants to the region it occupies.

The US announcement, the hottest in a sequence of moves by the Trump administration favouring Israel, drew immediate criticism from Palestinians, rights teams and politicians worldwide. 

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the US decision “contradicts absolutely with worldwide regulation”.

Washington is “not experienced or authorised to cancel the resolutions of intercontinental law, and has no suitable to grant legality to any Israeli settlement”, Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah explained in a statement.

Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Govt Committee, stated on Twitter in advance of Pompeo’s statement that the move represented a different blow to “intercontinental law, justice & peace”.

Yet another blow to worldwide law, justice & peace by a Biblical absolutist waiting around for the “rapture.”

Israeli settlements not ‘inconsistent with intercontinental law,’ Pompeo established to announce https://t.co/OpZ4aY8xj2

— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) November 18, 2019

Jordan’s overseas minister, Ayman Safadi, warned that the US modify of position would have “dangerous effects” on the potential clients of reviving the Middle East peace course of action.

Safadi reported in a tweet that Israeli settlements in the territory were being unlawful and killed potential clients of a two-point out option in which a Palestinian condition would exist facet-by-side with Israel, which Arab international locations say is the only way to resolve the a long time-old Arab-Israeli conflict.

‘A reward to Netanyahu’

Much more than 600,000 Israelis presently stay in settlements in the occupied West Financial institution, which include occupied East Jerusalem. Some three million Palestinians dwell there. 

The settlements have lengthy been regarded as a major stumbling blocks to an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. 

Observe groups have mentioned Israel has done a settlement force considering that Trump took place of work.

Monday’s announcement marked one more considerable instance in which the Trump administration has sided with Israel and versus stances taken by the Palestinians and Arab states even prior to unveiling its lengthy-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace program.

In 2017, Trump recognised Jerusalem as the cash of Israel and, in 2018, the US formally opened an embassy in the city. US plan experienced formerly been that the standing of Jerusalem was to be made the decision by the functions to the conflict.

In 2018, the US also announced it was chopping its contributions to the UN Aid and Will work Company (UNRWA), the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

And in March, Trump recognised Israel’s 1981 annexation of the occupied Golan Heights in a raise for Israeli Primary Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that prompted a sharp response from Syria, which the moment held the strategic land.

Netanyahu on Monday welcomed the change in plan, stating the US move “legal rights a historic completely wrong”.

Yousef Munayyer, the govt director of the US Marketing campaign for Palestinian legal rights, called Pompeo’s announcement “another present to Netanyahu and a green mild to Israeli leaders to set settlement developing even further into overdrive and progress official annexation”. 

Announcing that the US no lengthier considers illegal Israeli settlements unlawful. This is an additional Trump reward to Netanyahu and a eco-friendly light-weight to Israeli leaders to put settlement developing further more into overdrive and advance official annexation. https://t.co/1v5dw2TO9O

— (((YousefMunayyer))) (@YousefMunayyer) November 18, 2019

Netanyahu is now experiencing domestic pressure on two fronts just after Israel held inconclusive elections before this 12 months. His major political rival, former military services chief of staff Benny Gantz, has two days to test and kind a govt to change Netanyahu, who is also facing opportunity indictment in 3 corruption situations. 

In the last election campaign, Netanyahu pledged to annex big sections of the West Bank, a move that would even further imperil a two-point out alternative.

Gantz welcomed the US transfer, saying in a tweet that the “destiny of the settlements must be established by agreements that meet up with protection requirements and endorse peace”.

I applaud the US govt for its crucial assertion, as soon as again demonstrating its agency stance with Israel and its determination to the safety of the Middle East. The fate of the settlements ought to be decided by agreements that satisfy safety needs and boost peace.

— בני גנץ – Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) November 18, 2019

Pompeo denied a commitment to prop up Netanyahu, stating: “The timing of this was not tied to anything at all that had to do with domestic politics everywhere in Israel or usually.”

Response

Noura Erakat, a Palestinian human legal rights law firm, tweeted: “Pompeo’s settlement announcement is constant w five decades of US Mideast Law enforcement [policy]. Generating it about Trump is self-exculpatory and a continuation of violence. Trump is not the rupture, he’s the culmination of US plan.”

Huwaida Arraf, a Palestinian American law firm and legal rights activist, claimed the announcement was “not surprising”.

“Trump administration when yet again exhibits its complete disdain for the law,” she tweeted.

“Sec. Pompeo, what has ‘not state-of-the-art the trigger of peace’ is Israel’s creating of illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land, NOT contacting out the settlements for what they are. #Justice101,” she added.

Sec. Pompeo, what has “not advanced the cause of peace” is Israel’s setting up of illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land, NOT calling out the settlements for what they are. #Justice101

— Huwaida Arraf (@huwaidaarraf) November 18, 2019

In the meantime, the European Union reported that it continued to imagine that Israeli settlement exercise in occupied Palestinian territory was illegal under worldwide law and eroded potential customers for long lasting peace.

“The EU phone calls on Israel to conclude all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying electricity,” EU foreign coverage chief Federica Mogherini explained in a assertion subsequent the US shift. 

Kenneth Roth, the govt director of Human Legal rights View, tweeted: “Pompeo’s fictional statement modifications nothing. Trump are unable to wipe absent with this announcement decades of established intercontinental law that Israel’s settlements are a war crime.”

US Senator Bernie Sanders, a leading US Democratic presidential hopeful, also weighed in on Twitter, declaring “Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal.”

“This is clear from global law and a number of United Nations resolutions. As soon as yet again, Mr Trump is isolating the United States and undermining diplomacy by pandering to his extremist base,” Sanders said.

Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal. This is apparent from intercontinental regulation and various United Nations resolutions. After once more, Mr. Trump is isolating the United States and undermining diplomacy by pandering to his extremist base. https://t.co/Vz5NNpKIVB

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 18, 2019

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