Israeli settlements in the West Bank violate International Law

We condemn the Administration's action that further isolates the US by siding with aggression

November 18, 2019

Earlier today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.” In fact, the exact opposite is true; the US is violating both international and humanitarian law by supporting Israel’s settlements in the West Bank.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”. 

The announcement is conspicuously close to the electoral failure of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this past September, although Pompeo claims that the decision “was not tied to … domestic politics anywhere.” In his bid to retain office, the outcome of which is still to be decided, Netanyahu “pledged to annex parts of the West Bank,” a move which would only make easier the Israeli government attempt to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people. This announcement from Trump administration signals their support for just that. 

Late last year, the Trump administration disavowed international human rights frameworks and expressed a dangerous desire to dislocate from international human rights institutions. By siding with a show of aggression that will lead to ethnic cleansing, they are further isolating themselves and reneging on their responsibility to the Palestinians. 



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