The Palestinian presidency today denounced the expansion of US funding of Israeli scientific cooperation to include research projects in the illegal Israeli colonial settlements across the occupied West Bank.
Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh stated that the US announcement on lifting the ban on US funding of Israeli scientific research projects in the settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 “is a serious precedent that is condemned, rejected and could not be tolerated.”
He added: “This step indicates an active US complicity in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and a consolidation of (US President Donald) Trump administration policy of violating the international law and the United Nations resolutions which have condemned settlement activities in all their forms, most recently of which was (UN Security Council) Resolution 2334.”
“All settlements in the occupied territories are illegal, and any US action in this respect is illegal and constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he said.
Abu Rudeineh reiterated Palestine’s rejection of the US policies which attempt to help Israel cement its occupation of the Palestinian territories, and affirmed that such policies would never give legitimacy to anyone as Israeli settlements are doomed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman inked the amended deal expanding scientific research funding to Israeli settlements in Ariel colonial settlement in the north of the West Bank.
Israeli Higher Education Minister Ze’ev Elkin tweeted praise for amending the agreements, calling it “a great achievement in promoting sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and strengthening Ariel University.”
Israel uses the Jewish nationalist name “Judea and Samaria” to refer to the occupied West Bank to reinforce its bogus claims to the territory and to give them a veneer of historical and religious legitimacy.
There are over 700,000 Israeli settlers living in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The number of settlers has almost tripled since the Oslo Accords of 1993 when settlers’ number estimated 252,000. Illegal settlements have leaped from 144 to 515 in that time.
Israel’s nation-state law that passed last July stated that building and strengthening the settlements is a “national interest.”