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Trump Stands Up to UN with U-Turn on Settlements: 'Historic Day for Israel'


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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the Trump administration is taking another bold step by reversing the Obama administration's policy on Israeli settlements.

"After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan. The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law," Pompeo explained.

Israel's settlements in the so-called West Bank – which is actually the biblical region of Judea and Samaria – are really full-sized towns and small cities, some with tens of thousands of residents. 

President Obama argued the settlements were illegal under international law, so his policy at the UN and in Washington was to prevent new construction. In 2009, he said the "settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward."

But Pompeo says that simply hasn’t been successful. "Calling the establishing of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn't worked. It hasn't advanced the cause of peace," he insisted. 

Israelis were elated at the news and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the decision, calling it a historic day for Israel.

"After President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and recognized our sovereignty over the Golan Heights, now the American administration put an end to the lie that settlements are illegal. I thank President Trump and I thank Secretary of State Pompeo," said a grateful Netanyahu.

The Palestinian Authority called it a total departure from solving the conflict by peaceful means. "They are replacing international law with the law of the jungle," said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

ANALYSIS: Trump Admin Stands Against the World to Support Israeli Settlements

Since 1978, the US State Department has considered the settlements to be in violation of international law, and in January 2017, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution declaring all of Judea and Samaria occupied territory.  

On the CBN News Channel program Faith Nation, State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the US is responding to UN bias against Israel.

"They continually try and isolate and discriminate against Israel and we here in the United States will not stand for the policy," she said.

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About The Author

Gary Lane

Mr. Lane currently serves as International News Director and Senior International Correspondent for CBN News. He has traveled to more than 120 countries—many of them restricted nations or areas hostile to Christianity and other minority faiths where he has interviewed persecution victims and has provided video reports and analysis for CBN News. Also, he has provided written stories and has served as a consultant for the Voice of the Martyrs. Gary joined The Christian Broadcasting Network in 1984 as the first full-time Middle East Correspondent for CBN News. Based in Jerusalem, Gary produced