Lawful Settlements in West Bank? New York Times

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reversed 40 years of US policy by suggesting Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law. The move dashes Palestinian hopes for a peace settlement providing land for their own state. The New York Times suggests the internet is to influence politics in Israel, lending support to Benjamin Netanyahu and prompting need for a third election. Both Netanyahu and his opponent have failed to form a government after two elections in 2019. The settlements are a divisive issue: Netanyahu suggests that Israeli courts should decide the issue while Benny Gantz emphasizes agreements that meet security requirements and promote peace. Pompeo noted the decision has no bearing on similar disagreements around the world. The Trump administration made similar announcements on Israel, including recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli territory and relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Lara Jakes and David M. Halbfinger write: “Opponents of annexation, however, warn that it puts Israel’s status as a Jewish democracy at risk in two ways: If the West Bank’s Palestinians are made Israeli citizens, the country’s Arabs could quickly outnumber its Jews. If they are not given full citizenship rights, Israel would become an apartheid state.” The Trump administration has promised to revive peace negotiations. – YaleGlobal

Lawful Settlements in West Bank? New York Times

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces abrupt policy reversal, suggesting that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law
Lara Jakes and David M. Halbfinger
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Read the article from the New York Times about the new US position on Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

Lara Jakes reported from Washington, and David M. Halbfinger from Jerusalem. Edward Wong contributed reporting from Washington, and Isabel Kershner from New York.

Lara Jakes is a diplomatic correspondent based in the Washington bureau of The New York Times. Over the past two decades, Ms. Jakes has reported and edited from more than 40 countries and covered war and sectarian fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, the West Bank and Northern Ireland. 

David M. Halbfinger is the Jerusalem bureau chief, covering Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories and the Middle East.

The United Nations on the Israeli Settlements  “The settlements have been condemned as illegal in many UN Security Council and other UN resolutions. As early as 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 465 called on Israel ‘to dismantle the existing settlements and, in particular, to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.’…  “The illegality of the settlements was recently reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334, passed in December 2016, which reiterates the Security Council’s call on Israel to cease all settlement activities in the [Occupied Palestinian Territory].”           – Amnesty International

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