US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Washington’s support for Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank will advance “peace” between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Reuters reported.
Pompeo’s comments were aired during a policy forum in Jerusalem that was dubbed “The Pompeo Doctrine”, according to the news agency.
Washington’s top diplomat argued in his pre-recorded message that the Donald Trump administration is adopting a “balanced and sober” approach to the Middle East.
American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo honored us by addressing the #pompeo_conf
— פורום קהלת Kohelet (@KoheletForum) January 8, 2020
Last March, Pompeo argued that it is “possible” that God has sent President Trump to save Israel.
“I am confident that the Lord is at work here,” Pompeo said.
Last November, Pompeo also declared that the US no longer considered Israeli Jewish settlements in the West Bank as “inconsistent with international law”.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, and soon began constructing settlements and transferring its own population to the newly occupied territory. All Jewish settlements are considered illegal under international law.
— RealJerusalemStreets (@RealJStreets) January 8, 2020
Pompeo also reiterated his assertions on the supposed legality of the Jewish settlements.
“It’s important that we speak the truth when the facts lead us to it,” Pompeo reportedly said. “And we are recognizing that these settlements don’t inherently violate international law”.
For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised US support, calling it a “proper answer to the decision by the ICC in the Hague to investigate Israel’s actions in Judea and Samaria,” in a reference to the Palestinian West Bank.
“The ‘Pompeo doctrine’ regarding the status of the settlements simply states that we are not foreigners in our homeland,” Netanyahu told the forum.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Kohelet Policy Forum conference on the Pompeo doctrine regarding the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. pic.twitter.com/9gpHfjGV4m
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) January 8, 2020
Speaking at the same conference, which was hosted by the Jerusalem think-tank, Kohelet Policy Forum, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman claimed that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
“I thank God that President Trump had the courage and the wisdom to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move our embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv”.
Saeb Erekat, a top official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said that “Israeli colonial settlements are illegal under international law … ignoring facts (doesn’t) mean they don’t exist”.
According to the Israeli rights group B’tselem, there are over 600,000 Illegal Jewish settlers currently living in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
(The Palestine Chronicle)