Palestinian Liberation Organization Condemns Change In US Stance On Israeli Settlements

Palestinian Liberation Organization Condemns Change in US Stance on Israeli Settlements

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) says the change in US policy with regard to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which the current US administration no longer views as illegal, threatens global stability, PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a statement

GAZA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th November, 2019) The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) says the change in US policy with regard to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which the current US administration no longer views as illegal, threatens global stability, PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a press briefing on Monday that the "establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the change in policy, saying on Monday that it "rights a historical wrong."

Commenting on Pompeo's statement, Erekat said in a Monday release that under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Israel's settlement activity in the occupied territories "falls within the definition of war crimes."

"Once again, with this [Pompeo's] announcement, the Trump administration is demonstrating the extent to which it's threating the international system with its unceasing attempts to replace international law with the 'law of the jungle,'" Erekat stressed.

The PLO secretary general called on the international community to deter "irresponsible US behavior, which poses a threat to global stability, security, and peace."

He pointed out that Israeli settlements restrict the movement of the people of Palestine and exploit Palestinian natural resources.

"The only way towards achieving peace in Palestine, Israel, and the entire Middle East is with the freedom and independence of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital," Erekat emphasized.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said in a Monday statement that the European Union still considered all Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal, despite the change in the stance of the current US administration.

She added that the European Union was calling on Israel to end all settlement activity and start negotiating a two-state solution.

Israel, which refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity, has been constructing settlements in the West Bank despite objections from the United Nations. Palestinians have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.