The Palestinian Authority has denounced a planned visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
"Pompeo's decision to visit Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is a provocation to the Palestinian people and leadership," Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in statements cited by the official Wafa news agency on Sunday.
Abu Rudeineh called Pompeo's visit as "a blatant disregard to the resolutions of the international community on top of which is the UNSC resolution 2334."
US, a 'partner in occupation'
The Palestinian spokesman accused the US administration of being a "fundamental partner in the occupation of the Palestinian lands."
According to the US Axios news website, Pompeo intends to visit Israel next week, with a scheduled visit to Israeli illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and the occupied Golan Heights.
If confirmed, the visit will be the first by a US State Secretary to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied Golan Heights, both of which were occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.
Israel moves ahead on housing plans
Pompeo's visit comes as Israel is moving forward on the construction of hundreds of new homes in a sensitive east Jerusalem settlement, in a step that defies international consensus against Tel Aviv's building in areas that would cut Palestinians off from the city's eastern sector.
Israel's Housing Ministry on Sunday opened up tenders for more than 1,200 new homes in the Givat Hamatos area of Jerusalem.
The settlement watchdog group Peace Now and other critics say construction there would seal off the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.
The Palestinians seek the West Bank, along with Gaza and east Jerusalem — areas Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast war — for their own state and view them as the main obstacle to peace.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activities on the land to be illegal.
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