Israel’s request that Washington should recognize its illegal settlements is itself illegal, says a New York-based author and lecturer.
“The settlements, all of them, are illegal under international law,” Norman Gary Finkelstein told Press TV on Wednesday, while commenting on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated calls for the international recognition of major Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank in exchange for steps to ease tensions with the Palestinians.
Bibi wants the US to “legalize a situation, which is clearly illegal,” the analyst noted, slamming the Israeli premier’s offer to “allow for certain kinds of economic development in the occupied Palestinian territory” instead.
“He has no right to do that either… he has only one right; he has the right to pack up his bag and leave.”
The United States strongly rejected Israel’s request, calling construction of settlements an obstacle to a two-state solution.
The new dispute over Israeli settlements emerged between Washington and Tel Aviv on Tuesday, as US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel and the West Bank for the first time in more than a year.
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.