The United States no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be contrary to international law, US chief of diplomacy said Monday as occupations of Palestinian territories are deemed illegal by the UN and a large part of the community international.
" After careful consideration of all the arguments in this legal debate, " Donald Trump's administration concludes that " the establishment of settlements of Israeli civilians in the West Bank is not in itself contrary to international law ," said Mike Pompeo before the press.
This decision could be interpreted as a boost to outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who proposed to annex part of the settlements in the occupied West Bank, as Israeli parties are waging difficult negotiations to form a new government.
Settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 are considered illegal by the United Nations, and a large part of the international community sees them as a major obstacle to peace.
So far, American policy has been based, at least theoretically, on a 1978 Department of State legal opinion that "the establishment of settlements in these territories was not in accordance with international law".
Mike Pompeo therefore decided that this opinion was obsolete. " The truth is that there will never be a judicial solution to the conflict, and that debates about who is right and who is wrong under international law will not bring peace, " he said. he said, assuring that it was not an interference in Israeli politics, nor a green light for colonization.
This decision is primarily symbolic: if the former Democratic administration of Barack Obama condemned the colonization, the Republican government of Donald Trump had already shown since 2017 much more flexible on this question sensitive.
US Ambassador to Jerusalem David Friedman went so far as to say that Israel had " the right " to annex " a part " of the occupied West Bank. And Mike Pompeo had refused in April to say if Washington would oppose a possible annexation of settlements in the West Bank by the Jewish state.
The Trump administration has already made dramatic decisions that break with the international consensus and with the American diplomatic tradition, unilaterally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the annexation of the Syrian Golan by the Jewish state.