by Gary Willig
US expected to ease postion on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make an announcement in which he is expected to declare that 'settlements,' or Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, do not violate international law.
The move would reverse the 1978 legal opinion of the State Department that Israeli settlements are illegal.
New Right Co-Chairwoman Ayelet Shaked praised the Trump Administration's move as "an important and significant decision."
The former justice minister added, "It is indeed better late than never. Settlement in Judea and Samaria does not contradict international law and it is good that the world's great power is telling the truth and correcting a long-standing injustice."
Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich responded on Twitter: "This is certainly a worthy answer to the European Court's hypocritical decision from last week. We are advancing in international recognition of the settlement enterprise."
The Yesha Council of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria welcomed the anticipated US declaration, saying, "For more than 50 years we have been claiming that the State of Israel has a historical and legal right to the area, and it is time that the entire world know and understand that it is ours."
A council statement continued, "This is a dramatic decision, and we welcome all those engaged in the work. Now it's clear to everyone - Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley are an integral part of the State of Israel. Following the American recognition, we must move to the next stage - applying sovereignty to Israeli settlement."
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