Amnesty: Settlement will remain "war crime" despite legitimizing US

Amnesty International on Tuesday condemned the United States for legitimizing Israeli settlements, saying settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories would remain a "war crime".

The London-based organization said in a statement posted on Twitter that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that his country no longer considers Israeli settlements in the occupied territories "contrary to international law."

"The United States believes in its declaration to the world - Monday - that it and Israel are above the law, that Israel can continue to violate international law and human rights of the Palestinians, and that Washington strongly supports it," the international rights group said.

She added: "Washington's declaration will not change the clear law that stipulates that the construction and maintenance of settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, violates international law and amounts to war crimes."

The international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements illegal, partly based on the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prevents the occupying power from transferring Israelis to the occupied territories.

A few days ago, the European Court of Justice ruled that EU member states should be labeled "producer of settlements" rather than "made in Israel" on goods produced in settlements.


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