Pompeo reportedly to visit Israeli West Bank settlement

Nov 13, 2020

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 to visit one of the settlements, which are considered illegal by most states.

The Israeli news outlets Haaretz and Walla! reported Thursday that Pompeo will visit the Psagot settlement east of the Palestinian capital Ramallah.

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 Bank during the 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.”

US President Donald Trump’s Administration recognized Israeli soveriegnty over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The State Department has not confirmed Pompeo’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.

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