Pompeo says US no longer considers Israel's West Bank settlements against int'l law

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This Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 photo, shows a view of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. New official data obtained by The Associated Press shows a spike in Jewish settlement construction in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, along with strong evidence of decades of systematic discrimination illustrated by a huge gap in the number of construction permits granted to Jewish and Palestinian residents. (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that the US government will no longer consider Israel's West Bank settlements "inconsistent" with the international law, a move that may further dim the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Pompeo said in a press conference that the decision, which reversed the Obama administration's position on the issue, had been made based on the "reality on the ground."

Pompeo's remarks were seen as the latest act by the Trump administration to take side with Israel, following its widely criticized recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 2017 and the official relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem in 2018.

The last round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014, mainly over Israel's continuing expansion of the settlements in the West Bank.