West Bank, Palestine – Mike Pompeo has become the first U.S. Secretary of State to visit an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. The visit, on Thursday, left many wondering of the intentions behind Pompeo’s arrival.
The United Nations and a majority of the international community consider the Israeli settlements to be illegal. Many Palestinians believe the purpose of Pompeo’s visit was to lend credibility to Israel’s policies violating these settlements. Additionally, the visit also showcased the U.S government’s kinship with Israel over Palestine.
To many, this visit may not feel utterly important or of great significance. However, since 1967, all previous U.S. administrations have dealt with the area as occupied territories. Pompeo’s arrival to the West Bank will dramatically alter that traditional approach. Palestinian Premier Mohammed Shtayyeh has spoken out against Pompeo’s recent arrival, claiming it sets a “dangerous precedent.”
The spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine’s president and head of the Palestinian National Authority (PLO), released a statement on the issue. Nabil Abu Rudeineh claimed the visit would be a provocation to Palestine. Rudeineh declared that the American administration has become a “partner in the occupation of the Palestinian lands.”
Allegations have been made suggesting this visit had a more long-term goal. Pompeo has been outspoken about his political ambitions. His relationship with Israel is keeping Pompeo’s largely evangelical Christian supporters happy. Is Pompeo’s visit to the region a ploy to improve his chances for a presidential run in 2024?
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