UN: Settlements illegal no matter what US says

UN rights office dismisses US declaration Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are not illegal.


United Nations in Geneva
United Nations in Geneva

A US policy change has no impact on the legality of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, the UN said Tuesday, insisting that the communities breach international law.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that after legal consultations, Washington had concluded that the establishment of settlements was "not, per se, inconsistent with international law".

UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said that "a change in the policy position of one state does not modify existing international law, nor its interpretation by the International Court of Justice and the Security

The rights office will "continue to follow the longstanding position of the United Nations that the Israeli settlements are in breach of international law," Colville told reporters.

In his announcement, Pompeo said the United States did not necessarily consider the communities legal, but instead would defer to the judgement of Israeli courts.

The majority of citizens live in towns and cities that Israeli courts have judged legal.