Pompeo visits Golan Heights, West Bank settlement

Elias Hubbard
November 21, 2020

Pompeo, the first U.S. secretary of state to visit a settlement and the Golan Heights, touted the Trump administration's break with global consensus to recognize settlements as Israeli territory and its determination to help Israeli businesses in the West Bank avoid worldwide sanctions.

Netanyahu, who has congratulated Biden, thanked Pompeo for his "unwavering support" of Israel, first as Central Intelligence Agency director and then secretary of state, while claiming that under Trump the US-Israeli relationship "reached unprecedented heights". In 2019, Pompeo broke with decades of American foreign policy to announce that the U.S. under Trump no longer viewed Israel's settlements as "inconsistent with worldwide law". The US under Trump has recognized it as part of Israel.

Additionally, Pompeo announced in a separate statement on the State Department's website that the department is changing its guidelines so goods exported from Area C of the West Bank, which is under Israeli control, enters the United States, will be labeled as "Made in Israel". "This is an outgoing administration, but it set a symbolic precedent", she said.

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The visits came a year after Pompeo broke with decades of USA foreign policy to announce that the United States under Trump no longer viewed Israel's settlements in the West Bank as "inconsistent with worldwide law".

On the way there, he made a stop at Qasr el Yahud, revered as the site of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan Valley, according to the same official.

The PA denounced Abu Dhabi and Manama in the strongest terms, saying the Palestinian people were "stabbed in the back" by their fellow Arabs, and called for mass demonstrations in the two Gulf countries against their governments. Pompeo said on Thursday that the recognition was "historically important and simply a recognition of the reality".

"Pompeo is intoxicated by apartheid wine stolen from Palestinian land".

"It's quite ironic, really, that such a xenophobic, racist U.S. administration that is a partner in Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people, and that is empowering white supremacists and anti-Semites ... would dare to smear a human rights movement led by Palestinians calling for justice for the entire Palestinian people", said BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti during an interview with Al Jazeera. "I therefore call for both parties to get around the negotiating table to achieve a viable two-state solution".

It was a controversial move, but one in line with the Trump administration's policy.

Pompeo warned the Islamic republic in comments Wednesday that the deals the UAE and Bahrain have reached with Israel showed "its influence in the region is waning".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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