Palestinians condemn Pompeo’s ‘dangerous’ announcement on settlements

‘A threat to global peace and security’

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (photo credit: REUTERS)
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian officials on Tuesday strongly condemned US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that settlements are not inconsistent with international law and said the US has lost its credibility and can no longer play any role in the Middle East peace process.
Palestinian Authority presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said that the new US position is “void, unacceptable and condemned.”
Pompeo’s announcement, he said, “totally contradicts international law and resolutions that reject settlements.”
The US administration is “not qualified or authorized to cancel the resolutions of international legitimacy, and does not have the right to give any legitimacy to Israeli settlements,” Abu Rudaineh added.
He called on the international community to reject and condemn Pompeo’s “illegal” announcement, adding that it threatens international peace and security.
Minister Riad Malki said the following after the announcement: “The State of Palestine condemns the strongest terms the US administration’s lawless position on Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied territory of the State of Palestine, as announced by the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. This position violates international law, decades-long international consensus over the issue and determinations of the International Court of Justice, the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions and United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions.
The current US Administration has adopted an anti-Palestinian agenda and endeavored to empower and legitimize the Israeli colonial settler agenda. This ideologically driven and irresponsible policy, including this most recent announcement by Secretary Pompeo, prove beyond any doubt that the current US administration has aligned itself with Israel's illegal colonial enterprise and thus fails to meet the most basic requirements of to play any role in any future solution."
The PA spokesman said that the US administration has “completely lost all credibility and no longer has any role in the peace process. We hold the US administration fully responsible for the any repercussions of this dangerous position.”
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat also responded to Pompeo’s announcement by calling on the international community to “take all necessary measures to respond and deter this irresponsible US behavior, which poses a threat to global security and peace.”
Erekat said that international law “clearly defines the illegality of all Israeli settlements, including by the international Court of Justice, the UN Security Council, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.” He added that under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the settlements “fall within the definition of war crimes.”
The administration of US President Donald Trump, Erekat charged, “is demonstrating the extent to which it’s threatening the international system with its unceasing attempts to replace international law with the law of the jungle.”
Another PLO official, Hanan Ashrawi, condemned Pompeo’s announcement as “another blow to international law, justice and peace by a Biblical absolutist waiting for the rapture."
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warned of the “seriousness of the change in the American position towards the settlements and its repercussions on all efforts to achieve peace.”
The settlements, he said, “are a breach of international legitimacy, kill the two-state solution and undermine chances of achieving a just and comprehensive peace. The kingdom’s position in condemning the settlements is firm.”