03 de julio de 2020
English - News

US withdraws legal objection to Israeli settlements in West Bank

Washington, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- The US government on Monday altered its stance on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank by rejecting a 1978 State Department legal opinion that called the establishment of such settlements there "inconsistent with international law."

The move is virtually certain to enrage the Palestinians and their supporters, thus making peace efforts in the region more difficult.

"The conclusion that we will no longer recognize Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law is based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the established civilian settlements in the West Bank," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a news conference.

He added that the Donald Trump administration had "carefully" examined all aspects of the issue before arriving at this decision.

The State Department thus abandons a legal opinion issued during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, a Democrat.

That 1978 document, known as the Hansell Memorandum, has been the basis for the opposition of all US governments since that time toward Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories, although different administrations have differed in the intensity of that opposition depending on the particular president in office.

The US administration's move, though, sharply reverses the stance of former President Barack Obama, whose administration in December 2016 allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution declaring settlement activity a "flagrant violation" of international law with "no legal validity."

Pompeo emphasized that the decision should not be interpreted as Washington "prejudging the ultimate status of the West Bank," adding that from now on the US will not express any opinion regarding the legality of Israeli settlements in that territory.

The top US diplomat argued that trying to find a legal solution to the question of Israeli settlements is something that "hasn't worked" over the past several decades and "hasn't advanced the cause of peace," adding that crafting a viable peace agreement must stem from political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The great majority of the countries in the international community take the position that the Jewish state's settlements in the West Bank run counter to international law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which prohibits powers occupying territory from displacing the native population there.

Pompeo also said that the measure increases the possibility that the White House's peace plan for the Middle East will work, a plan that has still not been made public and for which no release date has been announced despite being in the works for the past two years.

The secretary of state's announcement comes along with other decisions by the Trump administration that have made the prospects for a Middle East peace accord more problematic, including recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the Jewish state's annexation of the Golan Heights, which are a part of Syria.

Other US moves designed to pressure the Palestinians have included ending foreign aid to them and closing their office in Washington.

Critics contend that the Trump administration's moves to favor Israel have markedly harmed the viability of the two-state solution in the Middle East by ignoring Palestinian territorial claims.



Histórico de noticias
Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: July 2

Miami Desk, Jul 2 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US puts brakes on economic reopening as daily infection tally hits new high

By Jairo Mejia

Plastic curtain allows relatives to hug quarantined elderly in Sao Paulo

By Carla Samon Ros

Three snapshots of Venezuela's ongoing crisis

By Ron Gonzalez

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: July 1

Miami Desk, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US buys up almost all Remdesivir to treat COVID-19

Washington, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- The United States, the world epicenter for the coronavirus with more than 2.6 million cases and a death toll of 127,000, has...

Weinstein victims to receive $19 mn in settlement

New York, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- Dozens of women who were sexually abused and harassed while they were working for now-convicted US film producer Harvey...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 30

Miami Desk, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US considering another stimulus package amid huge pandemic challenge

By Alfonso Fernandez

Fauci: US could quickly jump from 40K to 100K daily Covid-19 cases

Washington, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- The top US government epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Tuesday warned that the number of newly detected daily...

Ex-Pemex chief arrested in Spain agrees to be extradited to Mexico

Mexico City, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero reported Tuesday that the former director of Mexico's state-run oil company...

Black Lives Matter protesters set up camp in New York

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

More than 100 arrested for vandalizing statues amid US protests

Washington, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- More than 100 people have been arrested for vandalizing statues and monuments amid the protests against racism and police...

Supreme Court overturns Louisiana law restricting abortion

Washington, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- The US Supreme Court on Monday overturned a law that would have severely restricted access to abortion in Louisiana, dealing...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 28

Miami Desk, Jun 28 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

LGTB+ groups cancel marches due to pandemic, but not demands for equality

International Desk, Jun 28 (efe-epa). - The coronavirus pandemic forced the worldwide LGTB+ community to cancel in-person marches and Gay Pride parties on...

No new Florida COVID-19 record set, but Miami infections keep rising

Miami, Jun 28 (efe-epa).- After two consecutive days of setting new records for newly detected coronavirus infections, the daily number of cases confirmed...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 25

Miami Desk, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Worst Sahara dust cloud in 50 yrs endangering Caribbean air quality

San Juan/Havana, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- A good part of the Caribbean, from Cuba to Mexico, including Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles, this week is suffering...

Supreme Court limits legal rights of undocumented migrants requesting asylum

Washington, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that immigrants whose asylum requests were rejected when they entered the country...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 24

Miami Desk, Jun 24 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Coronavirus spreading non-stop through US South, West, breaking daily records

Washington, Jun 24 (efe-epa).- The coronavirus is spreading non-stop through the US South and West as states there - including Florida, Texas, California...

Diageo allots $100 mn to help rebuild world's bars

Miami, Jun 24 (efe-epa).- Diageo - the maker of Smirnoff vodka, Johnny Walker Scotch whisky and Bailey's, the world's best-selling liqueur - will allocate...

US backs Israel's West Bank annexation plan despite Middle East concerns

Washington, Jun 24 (efe-epa).- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday reiterated his support for Israel's plan to annex part of the West Bank despite...