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Jordan Slams US on Jewish Settlements in Palestinian Territories

“Entrenching the occupation and its injustice, and violating the resolutions of international legitimacy will not achieve peace, and will not guarantee security and stability.”

Rabat – The Jordanian government has condemned the US’s position on the Israel-Palestine dispute, particularly slamming Washington for supporting Israel’s “illegal” settlements in Palestinian territories.

In a statement responding to US State Secretary Mike Pompeo’s latest statements on Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, the Jordanian government said the US’s position undermines peace in the region, supports “illegal” settlements, and “kills” hopes for the two-state solution framework.

“Entrenching the occupation and its injustice, and violating the resolutions of international legitimacy will not achieve peace, and will not guarantee security and stability,” said Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s Foreign Affairs Minister. “Nothing changes the illegal reality of settlements that the international community is unanimous in condemning.”

The muscular response comes after Washington redoubled its support for Israel, going even as far as making an unprecedented, pro-Israel move on the sensitive issues of Jewish settlements, where the overwhelming international consensus disagrees with Israel’s expansionist tendency.

In an unprecedented move on Monday, Mike Pompeo said that the US did not necessarily consider Jewish settlements as illegal, in contrast to international consensus.

“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law has not advanced the cause of peace,” Pompeo said. “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.”

Pompeo’s remarks, coupled with the Trump administration’s “Deal of the Century,” have been largely seen as a dangerous shift, with the US seen to have lost its status as a reliable broker for the most complex dispute in the Middle East.

Even as previous US administrations gave a general impression of being pro-Israel, Washington followed the international consensus on topics like the “illegality” of settlements, the special status of Jerusalem, and the two-state solution. But under Trump, analysts and international observers concur that the US has moved from a relatively balanced position to a boldly pro-Israel one.

Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian diplomat, said the Trump administration was a “threat” to the international order. “Once again, with this announcement, the Trump administration is demonstrating the extent to which it’s threatening the international system with its unceasing attempts to replace international law with the law of the jungle,” he said.

With a large section of Palestinian refugees living in Jordan and hoping for the creation of an independent Palestinian state to “go back home,” Jordan continues to push for a two-state solution. In his response to Pompeo’s remarks, Safadi, the Jordanian FM, said that Jewish settlements are not only “illegal,” they are, he insisted, a “flagrant violation” of the international norms and could have “dangerous consequences.”

But Israel’s Netanyahu welcomed Trump and Pompeo’s positions on settlements and the broader Israel-Palestine dispute. “Israel is deeply grateful to President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and the entire US administration for their steadfast position supporting truth and justice, and calls upon all responsible countries who hope to advance peace to adopt a similar position,” said the Israeli Prime Minister.