US announcement on Jewish settlements does not ‘close door’ on peace, says legal expert

It means that negotiations “will no longer begin from the premise that Israel has no claim to this land or stole it from the Palestinians. That false legal theory only served to harden Palestinian positions and make successful negotiations impossible,” said Eugene Kontorovich, director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East at George Mason University’s School of Law.

(November 18, 2019 / JNS) Experts weighed in on the U.S. State Department’s announcement on Monday that the United States is softening its stance on Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

It is a reversal of the 1978 State Department legal opinion, known as the Hansell Memorandum, that such neighborhoods are “inconsistent with international law.”

“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” said Pompeo. “The hard truth is that there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and who is wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace.”

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