Selin ATAY-TDO- The United States has changed its stance on Jewish settlements it has built in the West Bank, which Israel holds under occupation. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has now declared that they "do not consider these settlements to be contrary to international law."
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh mentioned that the U.S. decision not to consider Jewish settlements in the West Bank as illegal meant that international law was being underestimated.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated that the U.S. decision on Jewish settlements was contrary to international law and UNSC resolutions.
German Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "(Israel's) construction of settlements violates international law for the German government, affects the possibility of a peace process and complicates a two-state solution based on negotiations."
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reacted to the United States by saying that "No country is above international law. The statements made with the understanding that I have done shall have no validity with respect to international law,"
The Russian Foreign Ministry also condemned the United States for the policy change. The US decision undermines the legal basis for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian problem, the ministry said. The statement warned that the decision would increase tensions in the region.
The European Union also criticized the U.S. decision. Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Relations and security policy of the European Union (EU), stated that "the EU's position on the policy of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has not changed and is very clear. All settlement activities are illegal under international law and damage the two-state solution. Also it is emphasized that “This policy change could erase the steps that have been taken for 40 years to achieve a lasting peace”
The United Nations reiterated that Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territories were a "violation of international law." Reacting to the US statements, OHCHR spokesman Rupert Colville said: "a change in a state's policy situation changes neither current international law nor the interpretation of the International Court of Justice and the Security Council (on this issue)."