Turkey said a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to an Israeli settlement unit in occupied West Bank as part of his ongoing trip to Israel constitutes a grave step against U.N. resolutions that underline the illegality of Israel’s settlement activities in the Palestinian territories under international law.
In a written statement, the Foreign Ministry recalled that the U.S. serves as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.
“Behind this visit lies the purpose of legitimizing Israel’s illegal actions in the occupied Palestinian territories. These irresponsibly unilateral steps will not succeed in undermining the established parameters for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.N. resolutions, and the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people,” said the ministry.
“Such premeditated actions are doomed to fail,” it added.
Turkey will continue to protect the legitimate rights of Palestinians based on international law and to defend the just cause of Palestine, said Ankara.
Pompeo became the first top American official to visit an Israeli settlement in occupied West Bank. Pompeo visited Psagot, which is built on Palestinian land near the cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh.
“Enjoyed lunch at the scenic Psagot…The U.S. stands with Israel and will not tolerate any form of delegitimization,” he wrote on Twitter.
He later paid a similar visit to the occupied Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967.
Last year U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the strategic plateau that overlooks Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Pompeo reiterated that the U.S. does not consider Israeli settlements illegal, confirming his November 2019 stance when he said they did not violate international law.