LUXEMBOURG CITY – Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn urged the European Union to recognize Palestine as a State to respond to US policy regarding Jewish settlements.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that his country no longer considers that the Jewish settlements established by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank and East Jerusalem violate international law.
“The European Union must debate whether it is appropriate for all member countries to recognize Palestine as a State, in this way it could create a counterweight to Trump’s policy,” said the Luxembourg Foreign Minister in an interview with the German newspaper Tagesspiegel am Sonntag.
He found that it would be difficult to achieve this at the national level in the EU countries, especially in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg.
However, “it is well conceivable as a European initiative”, in Asselborn’s opinion.
“The recognition of Palestine throughout the EU would be a sign that the Palestinians need a homeland, a state of their own, just like the Israelis,” he added.
The representatives of Germany, Belgium, France, Poland and the United Kingdom in the UN Security Council declared that they continue to consider Israel’s illegal activities to spread their settlements in the occupied territories, despite the U.S. thinking otherwise.
On November 18, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his country no longer believes that the Jewish settlements established by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank violate international law.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed Moscow’s concern about Washington’s decision to stop considering Israeli settlements in the occupied territories illegal.
The turnaround of Washington’s policy regarding Israeli settlements has been condemned by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh) and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), among other agencies.
The expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory is considered the main obstacle to achieving peace between Israel and Palestine.
The Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria (biblical denomination of the West Bank) were established in the territories occupied by Israel after their victory in the Six Day War in 1967.
Officially those territories are not part of Israel, the UN considers them occupied.