Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi on Monday, ahead of the expected Arab League (AL) ministerial-level meeting to address the US’s major shift on the legitimacy of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The two officials discussed recent updates related to the Palestinian cause especially Israel’s settlements, as Shoukry asserted Egypt’s firm stance to commit to international law that views the settlements in the West Bank as a violation.
The pair also discussed other common regional interests and enhancing bilateral cooperation.
The AL meeting was arranged after the US decree to no longer consider Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as a violation of international law.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last Monday that the US will no longer view Israeli settlements as “inconsistent with international law.” Washington’s announcement is considered a major shift to the last 40 years of US administration views on the Israeli settlements.
The US decision came against the UN Security Council Resolution No 2334 (2016), which stipulates that “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace.”
More than 628,000 Israeli settlers live in illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, according to Human Rights Watch.
In 2017, Israel agreed on plans to establish 10,536 housing units in its settlements in the West Bank, compared to 4,611 units between 2015-2016, according to the Peace Now non-governmental Israeli organisation.