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Pompeo says US does not view Israeli settlements as violation of international law

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US loosens policy on israeli settlementsSecretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the U.S. is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the latest in a series of Trump administration moves that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood.

Pompeo repudiated a 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.” The move angered Palestinians and immediately put the U.S. at odds with other nations working to end the conflict.

The Trump administration views the opinion, the basis for long-standing U.S. opposition to expanding the settlements, as a distraction and believes any legal questions about the issue should be addressed by Israeli courts, Pompeo said.

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