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Israeli settlements are war crimes

Reacting to the US announcement on Israel’s settlements MEP Manu Pineda (Izquierda Unida, Spain), chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Palestine says:

“We categorically reject the Trump administration’s declaration that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are suddenly legal. It is not up to the US to decide! Dozens of UN resolution, including most recently UN Security Council resolution 2334, have declared the illegality of Israel’s settlements. The Fourth Geneva Convention states plainly that the Occupying Power shall not transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

“This declaration gives Israel the green light to continue expanding settlements without consequences and plays into Israel’s plans to permanently annex the West Bank.

“Since 1967, Israel has sought to hold on to the land it had occupied. Building on the hilltops of the West Bank, on land stolen from Palestinians while pushing Palestinian families out of their home, is one way to achieve this goal.

“Over half a century on, close to a million Israeli settlers live in the West Bank, connected with modern infrastructure to the rest of Israel, while Palestinians live in ghettos, surrounded by walls and checkpoints, under the barrel of Israel’s guns. This is apartheid.

“The time is ripe for the EU to stop relying on the US to take the lead in the region and freeze all its agreements with Israel as pressure for it to respect international law,” Pineda concluded.

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