Palestinians lament United States settlement move as Israel rejoices

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Here's what to know.

Also this year, the US recognized Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israeli officials have cited as a possible justification for annexing the West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned an announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stating that Israeli settlements in the West Bank will no longer be viewed as illegal, as reported by Anadolu Agency.

"Israeli settlements are a grave violation of worldwide law, including global humanitarian law. It hasn't advanced the cause of peace".

And he went on to say, "Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, are not only illegal under worldwide law, they are war crimes". "This is for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate", Pompeo said. Shorn of ways to effectively resist Trump's attacks, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is left seeking support overseas.

How does this differ from the past policy?

Zaher's comments to reporters came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's controversial declaration that Israeli settlements on internationally recognized Palestinian lands are consistent with worldwide law.

"As this conduct poses a threat to worldwide stability, the world community should take measures to eliminate it and hold the U.S. administration responsible for those outrageous continuing violations of the global law, which might provoke chaos and undermine relations between nations", he said. His successor, Ronald Reagan disagreed, saying in 1981 he did not believe settlements were inherently illegal.

As of late Monday, no other nations appeared to have followed the United States by declaring they had ceased to view the settlements as inconsistent with global law.

David Halperin, executive director of the centrist Israel Policy Forum, said the decision may not have much impact because the Trump administration has already departed so far from playing a constructive role on the peace process.

What could the new announcement mean for Israeli-Palestinian relations?

Proponents of Israeli settlements say that as long as Israel exists, regardless of the presence of settlements, the Palestinians will continue their campaign of aggression against the Jewish state simply because it's a Jewish state.

For 40 years, the United States has maintained that Israeli settlements violate global law, following a 1978 State Department legal opinion drawn up by legal adviser Herbert Hansell.

Secretary of Affirm Mike Pompeo talked about Monday that the Trump administration had definite that Israel's West Financial institution settlements attain no longer violate world regulation, a possibility he talked about had "increased the probability" of a Heart East peace settlement.

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Among other things, Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there and recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The Palestinian Authority cut ties with the Trump administration in 2017 after it said it would move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, part of which Palestinians claim for a future state.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of liberal Jewish advocacy group J Street, released a more pointed statement saying the move amounted to providing "political gifts" to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Nimrod Novik, a former foreign policy adviser to the late Israeli leader Shimon Peres, said in effect that Israel needs to be protected from its friends.

Experts say the White House's announcement on the legality of Israeli settlements appears created to handicap Israel's centrist opposition at a time when it poses the most serious threat yet to Netanyahu's leadership.

Despite Trump's support, Netanyahu still faces monumental challenges.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of the liberal pro-Israel advocacy group J Street, described Pompeo's announcement as "inconsistent with worldwide law" and another gift for Netanyahu. Netanyahu's right wing Likud party is also preparing for the expected indictment of its leader on several corruption charges within days. Netanyahu is also locked in a political battle with his rival, Benny Gantz, who is trying to cobble together a majority in Israel's Parliament by Wednesday.

Monday's announcement was the latest major move by the Trump administration that could jeopardize Palestinian's hopes for a two-state solution.

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"By taking such a stance in this matter, as well as judging by its stance regarding other issues in various parts of the world, the United States is directly defying the worldwide law, trying to undermine its foundations and replace it with the law of the jungle", he said.

Mr. Gantz also praised the move, and said settlements' fate should "be determined by agreements that meet security requirements and that can promote peace".

Moscow's stance is that such settlements on Palestinian territory are illegal under worldwide law, it said.

"Holding a comprehensive national conference should end all obligations under the Oslo Accords and in particular to end all security cooperation between the Palestinian security apparatuses with Israel and the United States", he said.

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