Friday 6 December 2019

Netanyahu welcomes US settlements move

Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Abir Sultan/AP
Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Abir Sultan/AP

Stephen Farrell

Benjamin Netanyahu moved swiftly yesterday to embrace US backing for settlements in Israeli-occupied territory.

The move, announced by secretary of state Mike Pompeo, reversed a position held by the US for 31 years that such settlements are "inconsistent with international law".

Palestinians and Arab leaders called the decision a threat to the international rule of law.

But Mr Netanyahu, who is struggling to remain as prime minister following two inconclusive elections and is facing prosecution on corruption charges, lost no time in making political capital out of it.

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"I admit I am very moved," he said as he visited settlements in the West Bank.

"The Trump administration has corrected a historic injustice," he added. "This is a very great day for the state of Israel and an achievement that will stand for generations."

Mr Trump has launched a series of pro-Israeli initiatives. They include recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 2017, and moving the US embassy to the city in 2018.

Irish Independent

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