The US has shifted its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Trump administration, no longer views them as inconsistent with international law.
The recognition of Jewish settlements constitutes a major policy shift by Trump administration. Importantly, the administration announced that it no longer believes the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories are illegal. Previously, the administration asserted that such structures were inconsistent with international law. Above all, it has not helped the peace process at all.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained it saying the US recognizes like the Israeli courts, the legal conclusions relating to individual settlements. Furthermore, the conclusion regarding it must depend on an assessment of specific facts and circumstances on the ground.
Therefore, the US government is expressing no view on the legal status of any individual settlement, he added. Importantly, Pompeo told reporters that “The Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements.”
In the same vein, Israeli legal system use the opportunity to challenge settlement activity and assess humanitarian considerations connected to it. Notably, he also mentioned that the Israeli courts have confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities. However, there are some settlements which cannot be legally sustained.
Pompeo said that they have “carefully” looked at “all sides of the legal debate.” Furthermore, the United States of America “believes” that the “Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank are not per se inconsistent with international law.”
Moreover, a top American diplomat said that “Our decision today does not prejudice or decide legal conclusions regarding situations in any other parts of the world.”