Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019 - 13 of Kislev, 5780

EU foreign policy chief Mogherini : EU’s policy on Israeli settlements is ‘unchanged’

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‘’The EU 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,’’ Mogherini said.

Earlier, in a major policy shift, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US no longer views Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as violating international law,

BRUSSELS—A few hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US no longer views Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as violating international law, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini stated that the EU’s position on this issue ‘’is clear and remains unchanged.’’

‘’The EU 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,’’ Mogherini said.

‘’The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power,’’ she added.

She said that 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 fulfill the legitimate aspirations of both parties.’’

In his announcement of a major policy shift, Mike Pompeo said: “Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,’’ noting that the ultimate status of these neighborhoods must be decided by Israelis and Palestinians.

“The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace,” he said.

However, Pompeo said the United States will not take a position on the legality of settlements, and the new policy will not extend beyond Judea and Samaria. He said that the ultimate status of these neighborhoods must be decided by Israelis and Palestinians.

Pompeo’s announcement is consistent with the Trump administration’s support of the Middle East’s principle ally, including, but not limited to, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv; merging the U.S. Consulate General with the embassy; defunding U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority due to its support of terrorism; withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal; and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The U.S. move comes a week after Washington criticized the European Court of Justice to require products coming from Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights not to be labeled “made in Israel” but ‘’made in Israeli settlements.’’

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