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Palestine will go to ICC against Pompeo over his settlement remarks

  • Published at 10:16 pm November 21st, 2019
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a statement on the Trump administration's position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a news briefing in Washington on November 18, 2019 Reuters

 'Although Pompeo's declaration has no legal value, but its impact from a practical perspective may be severe'

Palestine has decided to complain to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Wednesday.

"Pompeo bears direct responsibility for the consequences for his dangerous declaration over settlements, which will force us to go to the ICC to complain against him personally against what he said and what he did that can amount to war crimes," al-Maliki said in a statement to the Voice of Palestine, official Palestinian radio station, reports Xinhua News Agency.

Although Pompeo's declaration has no legal value, but its impact from a practical perspective may be severe, he added.

It may undermine "stability and security, the two-state solution and encourage Israel to annex Palestinian territory in the West Bank," the Palestinian minister said.

Pompeo said on Monday night that the United States considers "the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law," and that Washington was not weighing in on the legality of any individual settlement.

But this should not be read as a statement on the final status of the West Bank, which is "for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate," he added.

Around half a million Israeli settlers live in the West Bank settlements, including East Jerusalem.

Several UN resolutions, including one passed by the Security Council at the end of former US President Barack Obama's term, have condemned Israeli settlement and demanded its end.

Political ties between the United States and Palestine have been severed right since after US President Donald Trump announced that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel in December 2017.