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US censures Israel over legalizing illegal settlements

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A picture taken on November 3, 2016 shows a partial view of the illegal settlement of Gilo in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds. (Photo by AFP)

The United States has decried a new measure by the Israeli regime to legalize illegal settlements built on the Palestinian land.

US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau reacted Monday to approval of a draft legislation in Israel to grant legal status to the settlements, considered illegal under international law, calling the move "unprecedented and troubling"

"We hope it does not become law," Trudeau said, claiming that Washington is "deeply concerned."

She also suggested that the measure would hamper efforts for a so-called two-state solution, pursued by the administration of US President Barack Obama during the past eight years but to no avail.

"This legislation would be a dramatic advancement of the settlement enterprise, which is already gravely endangering the prospects for a two-state solution," said Trudeau (pictured above). "This would represent an unprecedented and troubling step that's inconsistent with prior Israeli legal opinion and also break longstanding Israeli policy of not building on private Palestinian land."

 "Our policy on settlements is clear. We believe they are corrosive to the cause of peace."

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds.

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