What was the previous U.S. position? The announcement goes against more than four decades of us policy and is counter to worldwide consensus.
"It is the opposite of what Obama and John Kerry said, that the settlements did not promote peace", Revivi said, referring to Obama's secretary of state. "Trump can't wipe away with this announcement decades of established global law that Israel's settlements are a war crime".
In 1978, the Carter administration adopted the position that the settlements violated global law.
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee, said in an emailed press statement that "the USA administration puts itself on the side of the settlers' rhetoric and defends the settlement interests of some of its officials". Israeli courts have confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities and has concluded that others can not be legally sustained.
"Israel remains ready and willing to conduct peace negotiations with the Palestinians regarding all final status issues in an effort to achieve a durable peace but will continue to reject all arguments regarding the illegality of the settlements", the statement reads.
"Israeli settlements in Palestine constitute a breach of worldwide law and global legitimacy resolutions, the most recent of which was UN Security Council Resolution 2334", Safadi stressed in a Foreign Ministry statement. USA presidents after Jimmy Carter referred to the settlements as "obstacles to peace" or "illegitimate" or "unnecessarily provocative", rather than illegal, following a State Department finding in 1978-with Ronald Reagan disagreeing with even this watered-down designation.
The Presbyterian Church (USA)'s Office of Public Witness called the rejection of established policy "yet another occasion where the Trump administration is disregarding global law", arguing it will make things worse for denizens of the West Bank.
In 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and formally opened an embassy in the city in 2018.
The Palestinians want these territories along with the Gaza Strip for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.
The Fourth Geneva Convention on the laws of war explicitly forbids moving civilians into occupied territories. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said she would reverse Pompeo's "blatantly ideological" shift on settlements. Shorn of ways to effectively resist Trump's attacks, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is left seeking support overseas. "Trump is not the rupture, he's the culmination of U.S. policy". The move was widely condemned by pro-Israel groups and even many Democrats as a spiteful, abrupt, and illegitimate policy shift by an administration days before its departure from the White House.
Adding that the legality of each Israeli settlement should be ruled on by Israeli courts.
Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in a 1967 war and quickly began settling the territory.
The EU court had said its wine must be labelled a "settlement" product so that European consumers could avoid buying it for "ethical" reasons.
And the decision on settlements is a problem for the American Jewish community, because it further deepens the partisan divide on Israel. However, I agree with Glick that Pompeo's realism (and President Trump's) about West Bank settlements is a prerequisite for real progress in any meaningful peace process.
"Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal", he tweeted.
The so-called West Bank settlements include large towns just outside of Jerusalem. The Israeli Prime Minister failed to form a government following his narrow election victory in April, and after he failed to do so again after re-run elections in September, Israel's President handed the mandate to centrist Benny Gantz. In an interview with Religion News Service, Evans said Pompeo called him shortly after the press conference while en route to meet President Trump. He noted that Democratic former president Jimmy Carter believed they were not consistent with worldwide law while in office (1977-1981) while Republican president Ronald Reagan said in 1981 that he did not view them as inherently illegal. Given other countries refused to recognize Egypt and Jordan's claims as legitimate, Israel's claims of sovereignty over the land stayed intact. This is for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate.