AIPAC: Settlements should be an issue for direct negotiations

Pro-Israel lobby responds to US policy change on Judea and Samaria: The Palestinians must stop their boycott of US & Israeli officials.

Ben Ariel,

American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington
Reuters

The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC commented on Monday on the announcement by the Trump administration that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not “per se inconsistent with international law.”

“AIPAC does not take a position on settlements. We believe settlements should be an issue for direct negotiations between the parties, not something determined by international bodies. The Palestinians must stop their boycott of US & Israeli officials and return to direct talks,” it said.

Pompeo stated earlier that the American government does not consider Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be in violation of international law.

"The Trump Administration is reversing the Obama Administration's towards Israeli settlements. US public statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades," he said at a press conference.

"In 1978, the Carter Administration categorically concluded that Israel's establishment of civilian settlements was inconsistent with international law. However, in 1981, President Reagan disagreed with that conclusion and stated that he didn't believe that the settlements were inherently illegal. Subsequent administrations recognized that unrestrained settlement activity could be an obstacle to peace, but they wisely and prudently recognized that dwelling on legal positions didn't advance peace," Pompeo explained.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday night spoke on the phone with US President Donald Trump and thanked him for the change in US policy.

"We are not in a foreign country, this has been our homeland for over 3000 years. The reason why we are called 'Jews' is because we came from here, from Judea. It does not prevent negotiations, on the contrary - it promotes peace because it is impossible to build true peace based on lies," said Netanyahu.




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