Israel’s settlements in West Bank not to be considered in violation of international law – US Pompeo

epa08006722 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the news media in the briefing room at the State Department in Washington, DC, USA, 18 November 2019. Pompeo discussed several topics, including Israeli settlements in the West Bank and ongoing protests in Hong Kong, Iran and Iraq. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the U.S. will not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law, putting American policy at odds with the widely held belief that settlement expansion is harmful to the Israeli and Palestinan peace process.

“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”, Pompeo was reported saying.

Pompeo said that the decision helps strengthen the U.S.’s position ahead of the expected release of its Mideast peace plan, authored by President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. The secretary didn’t give an update on any expected date for that plan, but said the U.S. will release it “when the conditions are right.”

Pompeo also said the U.S. announcement recognizes the “reality” on the ground and is specific to Israel, not applying to other territorial disputes.

Via The Hill / The Guardian

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