TDN World Desk: Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday slammed the U.S. decision to validate illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
“No country is above international law. Fait accompli style declarations shall have no validity with respect to international law,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
The US on Monday reversed its stance regarding Israeli settlements built in the occupied West Bank, breaking with over four decades of precedent in saying that they will no longer be viewed as illegal “per se”.
The move highly irked Palestinian officials, who have rejected a role for the U.S. in any prospective peace talks with Israel over the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The U.S.’s partial bias towards one of the most radical trends in Israel [of illegal settlement building] prevents it from seeing the basic principles of international law,” Shtayyeh told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.
“This is nothing but an effort to support [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu in the final moments of the prime minister’s [electoral] race,” he added.
The U.S. under President Donald Trump has since gone on to close the Palestinians’ diplomatic office in Washington and has relocated its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Roughly 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live on more than 100 settlements built since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Palestinians want these territories along with the Gaza Strip for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.
International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.