Creating new perspectives since 2009

Hamas chief decries US reversal on Israeli settlements

November 24, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Ismail Haniyeh press conference in Gaza, on 10 November 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The political chief of Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Saturday denounced a US policy change on the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, as reported by Anadolu Agency. 

“Our people will not give up in the face of this US-Israeli plot,” Ismail Haniyeh said in statements on the sidelines of the inauguration of a medical centre in the southern Gaza Strip.

He said the US move aims “to redraw the map of the region to serve Israel”.

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Israeli settlements in the West Bank will no longer be viewed as illegal “per se”.

The announcement broke away from the State Department’s 1978 legal opinion which held that Israeli settlements are “inconsistent with international law.”

PA: Escalation of settlers’ violence is a result of Pompeo’s announcement

On Friday, more than 100 Democratic members of Congress signed a letter criticising the US administration’s policy reversal on the Israeli settlements.

The letter warned that the administration’s new policy “has undermined America’s moral standing” and made it more difficult to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

This letter “shows that the US administration is isolated by taking such decision”, Haniyeh said.

Roughly 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live on more than 100 settlements built since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians insist to regain the entire West Bank along with the Gaza Strip for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.

READ: Global condemnation of US decision on settlements is void of action