© AP Photo / Ariel Schalit
On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law, reversing a position the US has held since 1978.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has blasted Washington over its decision to reverse the US’s previous position on the illegal nature of Israeli settlements in West Bank.
“No country is above international law. Fait accompli style declarations shall have no validity with respect to international law,” Cavusoglu wrote on his official Twitter account, referring to Secretary Pompeo’s statement.
Historic US Reversal of Policy
On Monday, Pompeo renounced the US’s previous position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which was that the settlements were “occupied territories,” and a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that an “Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territories it occupies.” The US State Department adopted this position in 1978. Along with the US, most other members of the United Nations similarly considered the settlements to be illegal.
The territories in question, seized from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War, have been settled by over 600,000 Israelis, but are also home to some 2.7 million Palestinians, who are seeking to make the West Bank part of their future state.
After Monday’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the Trump administration for “righting a historical wrong,” and called on the rest of the world to “adopt a similar position.” Israeli settler leaders in the West Bank called on Tel Aviv to annex the territories outright, recalling a campaign promise made by Prime Minister Netanyahu ahead of the September parliamentary elections.