By Yaakov Katz, JPost—
In a historic reversal of US policy, the Trump administration announced on Monday that it does not view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. The policy change was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.
“After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with president Reagan,” Pompeo said in reference to Ronald Reagan’s position that settlements were not inherently illegal. “The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Pompeo, saying “the United States adopted an important policy that rights a historical wrong when the Trump administration clearly rejected the false claim that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are inherently illegal under international law.
“This policy reflects an historical truth – that the Jewish people are not foreign colonialists in Judea and Samaria. In fact, we are called Jews because we are the people of Judea.”
Pompeo’s remarks, The Jerusalem Post has learned, came after a year-long review conducted by the State Department’s legal office. The team met with international law experts as well as officials from different governments to hear their opinions. Continue Reading….