The United States will no longer automatically consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be "inconsistent with international law," as they were found under a 1978 State Department legal opinion, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday. The Trump administration has taken a softer stance on several issues related to Israel's interests in the region; Washington in 2017 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the U.S. embassy to the city in 2018. Pompeo's words were not received warmly among Palestinians. Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee, criticized the announcement on Twitter. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the other hand, said the announcement "rights a historical wrong."
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