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US settlement move endorses ‘law of the jungle’ – Palestinians

bbc.com

Palestinians have condemned a decision by the US to abandon its four-decades-old position that Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank are inconsistent with international law.

Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said it threatened to replace international law with the “law of the jungle”.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US move, saying it “rights a historical wrong”.

The UN regards the settlements as being illegal under international law.

Settlements are communities established by Israel on land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. They have long been a source of dispute between Israel and the international community, and the Palestinians.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements is not, per se, inconsistent with international law”. The status of the West Bank, he added, was “for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate”.

The move was seen as a victory for Mr Netanyahu, who has pledged to apply Israeli sovereignty over all the settlements, as well as the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea.

 

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