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Palestinians protest Pompeo’s planned visit to Israeli settlements

Mona Kandil

Press TV, Ramallah

Hundreds of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of al-Bireh have demonstrated in front of the illegal Israeli settlement of Psagot to protest the planned visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo's tour marks the first time that a top American diplomat has visited an Israeli settlement. Owners of the land where Pesogot settlement has been established say the policy of the American administration will continue to support of the occupation.

Pompeo’s visit comes two months before the inauguration of the US next administration. Observers here say Israel is seeking to impose more restrictions in the West Bank with the help of Trump’s administration.

The Palestinian leadership has denounced Pompeo’s visit as a way to legalize the settlements. Palestinians say the visit at this time specifically sets a dangerous precedent that violates international law.

Anti-settlement groups revealed that during Trump’s term in office, Israel has approved thousands of new settlement units, including in highly contested areas, and 2020 marked one of the most prolific years for Israel’s illegal settlement construction.

Trump has given unprecedented support to Israel by recognising Jerusalem al-quds as Israel’s capital. The administration has also recognised Israel’s annexation of the occupied Golan Heights, seized from Syria in the 1967 war, where Pompeo may also pay a visit. Trump’s so-called Middle East plan allows Israel to annex nearly one-third of the West Bank, including all of its settlements.

Mike Pompeo’s visit to the region is seen as a gift to Tel Aviv from the Trump administration that took unprecedented steps to support Israel’s attempts to annex the occupied West Bank. Palestinians say the visit to a settlement shows Washington’s rudeness in approving settlements that are internationally seen as illegal.

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