Mike Pompeo will reportedly visit an Israeli settlement in the West Bank on his current Middle East trip. The stop would make him the first US secretary of state toÂ visitÂ one of the settlements,Â which are considered illegal by most states.
The West Bank is internationally recognized as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel. The Israeli military directly administers some areas, while the Palestinian Authority governs others. Israel captured the West BankÂ during theÂ 1967 war with Jordan. Thousands of Jewish Israeli settlers live there alongside the Palestinian-majority population.
The United States viewed the settlements as illegal for decades across Republican and Democratic administrations. However, in 2019 Pompeo said that the settlements’ existence “is not per se inconsistent with international law.â€
The State Department has not confirmed Pompeoâ€™s visit to Psagot. In a press release, the department said Pompeo will visit Israel as well as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other countries Nov. 13-23.
It is unclear what Pompeo plans to do in Psagot, but there is a famous winery in the settlement with connections to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.