Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has commended the US administration's announcement that it no longer considers settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem as "illegal".
In a provocative visit to the Gush Etzion settlement bloc built on Palestinian land south of the West Bank, Netanyahu said: "I admit that I am very moved. We are here, in Gush Etzion, a place from which we were expelled during the War of Independence. Here we are on a historic day with another tremendous achievement for the State of Israel, for which we have worked greatly. This is a very great day for the State of Israel and an achievement that will stand for generations."
"I thank [US] President [Donald] Trump and [US] Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo," Netanyahu added.
The United States announced on Monday that it no longer considers Israeli settlements built in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem as being "in violation of international law".
US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders slammed Washington's announcement saying the Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and various UN resolutions.