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US to Soften Position on Israeli Settlements in West Bank

US to Soften Position on Israeli Settlements in West Bank

MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer
Created: November 18, 2019 01:59 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to announce that the U.S. is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. It’s the latest in a series of Trump administration moves that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood.

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Pompeo is scheduled to announce the change Monday. He is expected to repudiate a 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.”

A draft of his remarks obtained by The Associated Press shows that the Trump administration believes that legal questions about the settlements are a matter for the Israeli courts.

The move will likely anger Palestinians and put the U.S. at odds with other nations working to end the conflict.

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MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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