kuttab47_JOHN THYSAFP via Getty Images_EUpalestineprotestshoes John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

The EU Must Recognize Palestine

With the United States standing firmly with Israel’s most hawkish elements, it is up to the rest of the international community to push back against Israel's violations of international law in Palestinian territory. The European Union should lead the charge.

VALLETTA, MALTA – The United States may have just obliterated any remaining hope for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration that Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate international law defies a longstanding global consensus. The rest of the world must push back.

There can be no doubt that Israel’s settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories violates international law. In the wake of World War II, the Fourth Geneva Convention established that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” According to the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court in 1998, such transfers constitute war crimes.

Moreover, when Israel began its occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories in 1967, United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 condemned its actions for violating the post-WWII consensus regarding the inadmissibility of acquiring land by war.