Palestine hopes for activation of int’l law against U.S. intervention

Palestine hopes for the safeguarding of international law tools in light of U.S. support to Israel, said a Palestinian diplomat on Sunday.

In an interview with Xinhua, Nasser al-Qudwa, a member of the central committee of the ruling Fatah movement, said that the United States has aligned itself with Israel and therefore disqualified itself from the mediation of the peace process, referring to the statements made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the legality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

“Any U.S. plan or ideas will not serve peace … the United States will be against the Palestinian people and their rights, and will empower the Israeli side and allow it to reach its goals,” said al-Qudwa, former representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization at the United Nations.

The United States has not only lost integrity to mediate the peace process, but also become a rival in the conflict, standing by Israel, he said, explaining that Palestinians will not “work with this situation.”

“Pompeo’s latest declaration is a new crime, and it comes in line with the U.S. policy towards the Middle East … it is a dangerous declaration, and puts the U.S. administration at odds with international law and the multi-polar world order,” he said.

Last month, Pompeo announced that the U.S. government will no longer consider Israel’s West Bank settlements “inconsistent” with international law.

The Palestinians warn that such a declaration would encourage Israel to impose its sovereignty on West Bank settlements, which are deemed illegal under international law and most world powers.

Fears had risen amongst Palestinians especially in light of a previous announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he said he would annex the Jordan Valley and impose Israeli law on settlements in the occupied West Bank as part of his electoral campaign in September.

“We should activate the tools we already have under the international law, including the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion on the legality of the construction of the wall by Israel in the occupied territory, and try to revive it,” said al-Qudwa.

“We need to be more courageous, in my opinion, when the U.S. moved its embassy to Jerusalem, the draft resolution presented to the UN Security Council should have been focused more on the move per se, and on the U.S. violation of international law and UN resolutions,” al-Qudwa said.

Palestine has repeatedly threatened to resort to the UN, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice against Israeli violations in three main areas, namely the Israeli settlement activity, the Israeli military offensive on Gaza and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.