Iran condemns Pompeo’s visit to occupied Palestinian lands
Iran has condemned a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, saying his doctrine includes formalizing the regime’s occupation and whitewashing its crimes.
In a post on his twitter account, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Pompeo prioritizes the interests of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu over those of the American people.
Pompeo arrived in Israel on Wednesday for his last trip to the occupied lands before leaving office in January.
He met with Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani in Jerusalem al-Quds.
The top US diplomat also made a stop at the site of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan Valley, where he announced that Washington would consider the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement “anti-Semitic” and cut off government support for any organizations taking part in it.
The movement, which was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations and later turned international, is meant to initiate “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law” and end its decades-long occupation of Palestine.
Pompeo then travelled by helicopter to the Psagot settlement close to the West Bank city of Ramallah, marking the first time a top US diplomat had officially visited the illegal Israeli settlements. It came a year after he declared that Israeli settlements were "not, per se, inconsistent with international law".
Palestinian Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh condemned Pompeo’s embrace of the Israeli settlements and accused the outgoing US administration of “active participation in the occupation of Palestinian lands.”
Most of the international community considers Israeli settlements to be illegal based on the Geneva Convention principle that an occupying power is barred from transferring its population into war-won territories. They also see the settler units as an obstacle to the so-called two-state solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Additionally, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called Pompeo’s visit to the Israeli settlement a "dangerous precedent" that "legalizes settlements."