Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria do not violate international law, the US announces
BREAKING: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced today that the US is softening its position on Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, the latest in a series of Trump administration moves that weaken the Palestinian hallucination of a statehood.
Pompeo reversed a 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are “inconsistent with international law.” The move will likely anger Arabs and put the US at odds with other nations backing and funding Palestinian terrorism.
“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” Pompeo says in the draft. “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 accused former US Secretary of State John Kerry of changing “decades of this careful, bipartisan approach by publicly reaffirming the supposed illegality of settlements” in December 2016, at the end of the Obama Administration.
Pompeo said that the new announcement was not about specific communities about which there still could be specific legal questions. “The Israeli legal system affords an opportunity to challenge settlement activity and assess humanitarian considerations,” he said.
“This policy reflects a historical truth – that the Jewish people are not foreign colonialistsץ In fact, we are called Jews because we are the people of Judea”, PM Netanyahu said following the announcement.
“The Trump Administration policy is also correct in stating that those who have categorically denied any legal basis for the settlements not only deny truth, history and the reality on the ground, they also set back the cause of peace, which can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties”.
“Israel is deeply grateful to President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and the entire US administration for their steadfast position supporting truth and justice, and calls upon all responsible countries who hope to advance peace to adopt a similar position,” Netanyahu concluded.
In response to Pompeo announcement, Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi warned against what he called “dangerous consequences of the change in US policy”
The 1978 legal opinion on settlements is known as the Hansell Memorandum. It had been the basis for more than 40 years of carefully worded US opposition to the construction of Jewish homes that had varied in its tone and strength depending on the given president’s position.