Roundup: US top diplomat's remarks on Israeli settlements outrage Palestinians

RAMALLAH/GAZA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The remarks of the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Israeli settlements in the West Bank "don't contradict with the international laws" have on Monday outraged the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Presidency, the Palestinian Authority, the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Islamic Hamas movement and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad slammed Pompeo's announcement.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman of the Palestinian Presidency, said in an official press statement that Pompeo's declaration "is void, rejected, condemned and totally contradicts international law."

He also said that Pompeo's remarks violate "the resolutions of the international legitimacy and the Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution No. 2334."

Abu Rudeineh clarified that the American administration "is not entitled or authorized to revoke the resolutions of the international legitimacy, nor is it entitled to give any legitimacy to Israeli settlement."

He added that "the Palestinian Presidency calls on the world to reject and condemn these remarks for being illegal and threatening international peace and security."

He stressed that the American administration has completely lost all credibility and no longer has any role in the peace process.

"We hold the American administration fully responsible for any repercussions of this dangerous situation," he said.

Political ties between the United States and the Palestinian Authority have been severed right after President Donald Trump announced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Hamas movement, which has been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007, has also slammed Pompeo's announcement over the legitimacy of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

"Pompeo's remarks are a continuation of the American policy, which has been always biased, in support of the occupation, and an official cover for its violations and crimes committed against the Palestinian people," Hamas said in a press statement.

Around half a million Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank settlements. Several UN resolutions have condemned the settlements and demanded their end.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee, said in an emailed press statement that "the U.S. administration puts itself on the side of the settlers' rhetoric and defends the settlement interests of some of its officials."

Erekat called on the advisors of the U.S. administration "to review the provisions of international laws."

He also urged the international community "to respond to these illegal declarations, which pose a threat to international stability."

"The international community is required to hold the U.S. accountable for these flagrant and continuing violations of international law and consensus, and the possible destabilization of relations in the world," said Erekat.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press statement that the remarks of Pompeo on Israeli settlements "are a green light to annex all the West Bank and bury the two-state solution."

Meanwhile, Mohammad Dahlan, a Palestinian lawmaker, called on the Palestinians to hold a national conference to confront Pompeo's remarks.

"Holding a comprehensive national conference should end all obligations under the Oslo Accords and in particular to end all security cooperation between the Palestinian security apparatuses with Israel and the United States," he said.


(Photo: VCG)