Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
Last updated 6 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
US refuses comment on Israeli move
February 08, 2017
 Print    Send to Friend

WASHINGTON: The United States refused to comment on Monday on a new Israeli law legalising dozens of Jewish settlements built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

Washington has disapproved of Israeli settlement building for decades, and in the final weeks of former president Barack Obama’s administration stepped up its criticism.

But US policy has become less clear in the 17 days since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, and on Monday his State Department run by Rex Tillerson refused to take a position.

“The administration needs to have the chance to fully consult with all parties on the way forward,” a State Department official said on condition of anonymity.

“At this point, indications are that this legislation is likely to be reviewed by the relevant Israeli courts, and the Trump administration will withhold comment on the legislation until the relevant court ruling.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had updated the US administration so as not to surprise “our friends.”

And Bezalel Smotrich of the far-right Jewish Home party thanked the US people for electing Trump as president, “without whom the law would have probably not passed.”

The State Department official said Washington still hopes for a peace deal but understands that the Israeli law will face challenges in the country’s own judicial system.

“Among other reasons, this is the first time since 1967 that Israeli civil law is being applied directly to the West Bank, and that Israel’s attorney general has stated publicly that he will not defend it in court,” he said.

But the US official tried to dissuade the Palestinians or their supporters from challenging the law themselves before the international community.

“We are concerned that other actors have said they may seek to challenge this measure in multilateral fora, including at the International Criminal Court (ICC),” he said.

“We continue to strongly oppose actions against Israel at the ICC as counterproductive to the cause of peace.”

The new law will allow Israel to legally seize Palestinian private land on which Israelis built without knowing it was private property or because the state allowed them to do so.

Palestinian owners will be compensated financially or with other land.

Agence France-Presse

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Post a comment
Related Stories
Pence again ‘postpones’ Israel visit
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel’s Foreign Ministry said an expected visit by US Vice President Mike Pence has been postponed again. Pence was scheduled to visit last month...
Controversial new US ambassador arrives in Israel
TEL AVIV: Controversial new US ambassador to Israel David Friedman arrived in the country on Monday to take up his post, days ahead of a visit by US President Donald Trum..
US accuses Israeli right of sabotaging ME peace process
WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday accused right-wing Israelis of deliberately thwarting efforts to broker a peace deal with the Palestinians. In u..
US and Israel sign $38b military aid package: Official
WASHINGTON: The United States will give Israel $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade, the largest such aid package in US history, under a landmark agree..
US denies preparing to release Israeli spy
WASHINGTON: US officials on Friday denied a Wall Street Journal report that the Obama administration was considering early release for Jonathan Pollard, a former US Navy ..
Advertise | Copyright