Palestine Liberation Organization official Thursday condemned the US top diplomat’s visit to an Israeli colonial settlement in the West Bank as an endorsement of land theft and plunder.
“The visit of US Secretary to the occupied West Bank is a last ditch effort by the outgoing US administration to entrench its pattern of criminality, illegality, and direct complicity in the colonization of Palestine and dispossession of our people,” member of the PLO Executive Committee Hanan Ashrawi said in a press statement.
“It is also a cynical exploitation by Pompeo to advance his own personal political goals as the new face of far right ideologues in the US,” she added.
Ashrawi noted that products made in the Israeli colonial settlements in the occupied territories violate international law and amounts to recognition of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.
“Labeling products made inside illegal Israeli settlements as 'made in Israel' or 'products of Israel' is an outrageous and illegal policy tantamount to de facto recognition of Israel's annexation of most of the West Bank,” she said.
“It is an attempt to legitimize the theft of Palestinian land and plunder of Palestinian resources that runs counter fundamental principles of international law and the global consensus,” she added.
“Further, Pompeo's pronouncement of hostility against states and international organizations that properly label Israeli settlement products is an affront to the international community's obligations under the law, including UN Security Council resolution 2334. These products are a product of theft. They must be boycotted, not supported.”
The PLO official also criticized the current US administration’s willingness to provide separate designations of products coming from the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, revealing that it is part of the administration’s plan to further divide the Palestinian people.
“Adding insult to injury, Pompeo also announced the decoupling of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, labeling Palestinian products from the West Bank and Gaza as separate entities. This is one more measure affirming that the Trump agenda was always the disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people and their permanent subjugation to Israel's illegal control. It is also in line with this administration's agenda to keep Palestinians divided and maintain the internal rift,” she said.
She also criticized the US under the current administration for extorting countries into accepting the Israeli violations of international law.
“This outgoing US administration has expended so much effort on normalizing egregious Israeli violations of international law, fighting the most basic rights of the Palestinian people, as well as bullying and extorting countries into accepting these crimes. These pronouncements are an extension of this hostility and complicity.”
“Such malicious measures are intended to corner the incoming US administration with layers of legal and administrative measures that maintain the destructive Trump legacy beyond his disruptive term. Outrageous as they are, these policies have very real consequences on Palestinian lives and rights that must be undone.”
She called upon the world to “recover” from the chaos Trump has inflicted.
“The entire world needs to recover from the Trump legacy and the chaos it has created. The Palestinian leadership looks forward to working with responsible states on forging a new path to justice and peace based on mutual respect and commitment to the rule of law,” she concluded.