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1. Blinken: Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank is "inconsistent with international law''
Fri Feb 23, 2024, 03:26 PM
Feb 2024
Secretary of State Tony Blinken said on Friday that Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank is "inconsistent with international law," reversing a Trump-era decision that had overturned decades of U.S. policy on the issue.

Blinken's decision to reverse what has been known as the "Pompeo doctrine" comes as a response to the Israeli government's announcement on Thursday that it plans to expand the settlements in the West Bank, a U.S. official told Axios. The move has been considered by the State Department for the last three years.

"We are disappointed with the announcement [of new settlements]. It has been a long-standing policy of both Democratic and Republican administrations that new settlements are counterproductive to achieving enduring peace. They are also inconsistent with international law," Blinken said.

"Our administration maintains firm opposition to settlement expansion, In our judgment it only weakens, not strengthens Israel's security," he added.

Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in November 2019 announced the U.S. would no longer view Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem as "inconsistent with international law."

While largely symbolic for the Trump administration, it was a major shift in U.S. policy because it overturned a legal position held by the U.S. State Department since 1978, when the Carter administration determined that the settlements were a violation of international law. Much of the international community holds the view that the settlements are illegal.

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