Published: 2020-10-28 17:45
Last Updated: 2020-10-28 18:19
Editor: Priyanka Navani
US President Donald Trump Wednesday lifted a ban that forbade US taxpayer money to fund scientific research in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
His policy change was met with celebration in the Israeli occupation, where Israeli occupation Prime Minister Netanyahu hosted an official ceremony, and outrage amongst Palestinians who see illegal settlements as one of the biggest barriers to a future independent Palestinian state.
“The Trump vision ... opens Judea and Samaria to academic, commercial and scientific engagement with the United States,” said Netanyahu at the ceremony. Judea and Samaria are biblical names for the territory that is now the West Bank.
The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the move as further “American participation in the occupation of Palestinian lands.”
Most countries consider the building of Israeli occupier settlements on Palestinian land a violation of international law under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, however neither the US nor Israel abide by the legislation. Since 1970, nearly half a million Israeli occupiers have moved into Palestinian territory.
Trump’s decision comes one week before the Nov. 3 American presidential election, where he is lagging behind Democratic rival Joe Biden in national polls. It is unclear what settlement policy may look like under a Biden administration, though Biden has stated that his administration would not give the Israeli occupation a further "green light" to West Bank annexation.