Demonstrations in the West Bank to protest new US position on settlements

Demonstration near Ramallah, West Bank, on November 26.
Demonstration near Ramallah, West Bank, on November 26. Majdi Mohammed / AP

In Ramallah, Hebron or Nablus, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated on the streets of the occupied West Bank on Tuesday (November 26th) to protest the new American policy towards Israeli settlements.

On November 18, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington no longer considered Israeli settlements to be contrary to international law. Mr. Pompeo followed in the footsteps of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, who proposed to annex these territories, and turned his back on the position of the previous US administrations.

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In protest, protesters burned Tuesday US and Israeli flags, as well as effigies of Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and Benjamin Netanyahu. Among the protesters, many carried portraits of Sami Abu Diyak, a 36-year-old Palestinian prisoner, sentenced in Israel for murder by prison authorities, and died of cancer in detention on Tuesday.

"End the occupation"

In Ramallah, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, protesters were joined by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and political leaders. "We are here to say clearly and strongly that we want to end the occupation, demand our right of return and that foreigners in the settlements have no place on our land"said the head of the Palestinian government. The Palestine Red Crescent has reported scores of casualties throughout the country in clashes with Israeli forces.

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While Israel's colonization of the occupied West Bank has continued under all Israeli governments since 1967, it has accelerated in recent years under the leadership of Netanyahu and Donald Trump, his ally in Washington. Today, more than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the eastern part of the Holy City that Palestinians see as the capital of the future state to which they aspire.

These colonies did not "No foundation in law" and constitute a "Flagrant violation of international law" according to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 of 23 December 2016.


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