After many years of a government policy toward settlements in the West Bank being illegal the Trump administration announced yesterday that they are changing the official government policy. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the change yesterday saying the State Department is rescinding a 1978 department legal opinion that viewed settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank as inconsistent with international law. "Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department. "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."
According to an NPR article, the settlements — home now to hundreds of thousands of Israelis — are built on land Israel captured in 1967 and where Palestinians have hoped to establish an independent state. A series of U.S. administrations have allowed settlement construction to continue but frequently criticized them publicly.
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