Federica Mogherini, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, reacted on Monday to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration that settlement in Judea and Samaria does not contravene international law.
“The European Union's position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334,” said Mogherini in a statement.
“The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power,” she added.
“The EU will continue to support a resumption of a meaningful process towards a negotiated two-state solution, the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties,” concluded the statement.
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 praised Pompeo's announcement, saying, "Today, the United States adopted an important policy that rights a historical wrong when the Trump administration clearly rejected the false claim that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are inherently illegal under international law.”
"This policy reflects an historical truth - that the Jewish people are not foreign colonialists in Judea and Samaria. In fact, we are called Jews because we are the people of Judea.”