Egypt, Jordan criticize US policy change on Judea and Samaria

Two Arab countries that have peace treaty with Israel criticized Pompeo’s statement on Judea and Samaria communities.

Elad Benari ,

Ayman Safadi
Ayman Safadi

Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab countries that have a peace treaty with Israel, on Monday criticized US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not inconsistent with international law.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that "Cairo is committed to international decisions and international law regarding settlements, and believes they are illegal and contrary to international law.”

Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, tweeted, “Settlements in occupied Palestine are a blatant violation of Int’l law & UNSCRs. They are an illegal action that’ll kill two-state solution. Jordan’s position in condemning them is unwavering. We warn against dangerous consequences of US change of position on settlements on MEPP.”

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," the Secretary of State explained.

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed Pompeo’s declaration, the Palestinian Authority was outraged.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the official spokesman for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement quoted by the PA’s Wafa news agency that Pompeo’s declaration “is null and void, condemned and totally contradicts with international law, resolutions of the international legitimacy that reject settlements, and Security Council resolutions, especially resolution 2334.”