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Sunday, December 08, 2019

(JNS) A spokesman for Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas blasted the Trump administration following U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of Washington’s policy shift on Judea and Samaria.

“The U.S. administration has lost its credibility to play any future role in the peace process,” said Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh, according to AP.

Pompeo had announced that the United States no longer considers Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria to be illegal. This marks a sharp reversal from the policy of the Obama administration, which allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution calling the settlements a “flagrant violation” of international law.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was quoted by the BBC as saying the U.S. move threatened to replace international law with the “law of the jungle.”

“Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, are not only illegal under international law, they are war crimes,” said Erekat.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi tweeted in response to the U.S. announcement: “Settlements in occupied #Palestine are a blatant violation of Int’l law & UNSCRs. They are an illegal action that’ll kill 2-state solution. Jordan’s position in condemning them is unwavering. We warn against dangerous consequences of US change of position on settlements on MEPP.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted: “No country is above international law. Fait accompli style declarations shall have no validity with respect to international law.”