The ceasefire between Israel and Gaza continues to be maintained

A young Palestinian stands amid the crater of a destroyed house following overnight Israeli missile attacks on Thursday east of Khan Younis

Israeli military admits to martyring eight members of Palestinian family by mistake

More than 600,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

"Settlement is not a crime and it is not an obstacle to peace", he said.

Sirens sounded in the middle of the night in Beersheba, the largest city in southern Israel, some 18 miles from the Gaza border, warning of incoming fire. In fact, we are called Jews because we are the people of Judea.

In recent months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to push forward with incorporating the West Bank settlements into Israel proper, a move widely interpreted as a prelude to annexation. Before the September elections, he promised to annex the Jordan Valley, a region within the West Bank.

Senior Israeli officials and settler groups said the shift in USA policy meant the time was ripe for Israel to take permanent control of the settlements - a move that is largely seen as an end to Palestinian aspirations of statehood.

Pompeo repudiated a 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are "inconsistent with global law".

The Gaza Strip is home to over two million Palestinians.

Pompeo dismissed suggestions that the decision would further isolate the US or Israel in the worldwide community, though Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi wrote on Twitter that the settlements hurt peace prospects.

The settlements are also considered a major stumbling blocks to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. "We saw this all happening through the negotiations, there was a continued attempt to water down the illegality of settlements".

Former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has previously said that Netanyahu has provided Trump with incorrect information on numerous occassions. "This is certainly a worthy response to last week's European Union court decision".

The United Nations has regarded the settlements as illegal, with numerous resolutions denouncing both the Israeli occupation as well as the civilian settlement of those lands as unquestionably illegal, calling on Israel to abandon the projects.

"It hasn't worked", Pompeo said about the Obama administration's move. "The U.S. public statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades".

Netanyahu said the U.S. decision "rights a historical wrong", and called on other countries to take a similar stance.

"The free world decided at one time that a conquering state could not settle its civilian population on land that it acquired during times of war".

Fighting flared after Israel killed a PIJ commander on Monday. "Now is the time to apply our sovereignty to these communities", she added.

"Throughout the operation, we of course distinguished between Hamas and Islamic Jihad".

"Israeli settlements are a grave violation of worldwide law, including global humanitarian law.

The Israel Defense Forces are investigating the strike, which took place a few hours before a cease-fire came into effect, and its consequences", said officials.

Israel's legal system, which has proven itself fully capable of addressing legal questions related to the settlements, is the appropriate place for these matters to be adjudicated - not biased global forums that pay no attention to history or facts. They also constitute a war crime ...

The announcement, which breaks with global law and consensus, is the latest in a string of hardline, pro-Israeli moves that are likely to inflame tensions between the Trump administration and Palestinians and widen the divide between the Trump administration and traditional USA allies in Europe.

In 2017 Mr Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and, in 2018, the USA formally opened an embassy in the city. But the Human Rights advocate is under fire and reports suggest that Israel intends to expel him in 10 days.

Palestinian security sources said the Israeli strikes were aimed at two Hamas sites in the north of the territory.

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