Nov 21, 2020 RAMALLAH, West Bank — A mass sit-in was held Nov. 18 within the governorate of Ramallah and al-Bireh within the central West Bank to condemn US Secretary of State Mark Pompeo’s Nov. 19 go to to the Psagot settlement within the metropolis of al-Bireh. The protesters — amongst them Palestinian leaders, college students and institutional representatives — raised Palestinian flags and held banners condemning settlement exercise and Pompeo’s go to. They then marched towards the outskirts of Jabal al-Taweel within the metropolis of al-Bireh. Clashes broke out between younger folks and the Israeli military, ensuing in accidents to protesters, who inhaled tear fuel. Mahmoud al-Aloul, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council representing Fatah, mentioned on the sit-in, “Pompeo’s visit was no surprise to the Palestinian people given all the US administration’s bias to the occupation.” Aloul added, “The administration of outgoing US President Donald Trump is just not solely biased towards the occupation” but additionally a associate of it. Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee who was additionally current on the sit-in, spoke on behalf of the PLO factions, saying, “Pompeo’s visit shows blatant disregard of international law.” He added, “The Trump administration seeks to implement the deal of the century [US Middle East peace plan] in the time remaining before leaving the White House.” The Palestinian Authority condemned Pompeo’s go to to the Psagot settlement. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the official spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, mentioned in a Nov. 15 press launch that Pompeo’s go to is a provocative move for the Palestinian folks and management. He added that additionally it is a harmful precedent that confirms the Trump administration’s defiance of outcomes about worldwide legitimacy, most notably UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned the settlements in a 14-Zero vote in December 2016. The Obama administration abstained from voting on that decision. Aoudeh Muhammad Hamayel, 90, who holds US citizenship, took half within the march in opposition to Pompeo’s go to. He carried paperwork exhibiting he owns 18 dunams (4.5 acres) within the Jabal al-Taweel space the place Psagot is situated. He instructed Al-Monitor that his 18 dunams have been seized 25 years in the past, and that the settlers constructed their housing models on his land. Hamayel mentioned he inherited the land from his father and grandfather, and that it was neither offered nor bought. He mentioned the settlement was established on the lands of Palestinian residents, most of whom maintain US citizenship. A variety of folks from al-Bireh have American citizenship. The Psagot settlement is situated on a strategic elevated place overlooking Ramallah and al-Bireh governorate and the town of Jerusalem. During the go to to the settlement, Pompeo stopped at a vineyard. It has wine named after Pompeo as an act of gratitude for his position within the US administration’s determination to legalize Israeli settlements within the West Bank, and his setting apart the authorized opinion issued by the US State Department in 1978 that thought of settlements constructed within the occupied territories to be “inconsistent with international law.” Pompeo’s go to to Psagot was the primary for a US secretary of state. It carries vital messages to the Palestinians, particularly that the United States has modified the way in which it offers with the settlements constructed on the land occupied in 1967, after earlier US administrations had thought of the settlements to be in violation of worldwide regulation. Walid Assaf, chairman of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, instructed Al-Monitor, “Pompeo’s visit to an occupied land comes at an idle time for the Trump administration, which is trying to reshuffle the cards before the new US administration arrives, in an attempt to legitimize the settlement activity.” Assaf, who took half within the protest in opposition to Pompeo’s go to, added that the Trump administration desires to proceed violating the rights of the Palestinians till the final minute, particularly after its failure to impose the Middle East peace plan on the Palestinian folks and management who oppose it. He mentioned it’s an try to depart behind a legacy of legitimizing the settlements. Assaf mentioned Pompeo’s go to is a violation of the rights of US residents of Palestinian origin, in favor of settlers, and in violation of worldwide regulation. Assaf mentioned, “The Palestinians who own the land on which the Psagot settlement is built are US citizens. Yet the Trump administration did not respect them and did not respect their nationality, which implies a violation of their rights, international law and Security Council Resolution 2334.” Assaf mentioned the landowners are contemplating resorting to Canadian courts to file a case in opposition to Pompeo on the cost of looking for to legalize settlements on an occupied land, particularly since Canada is without doubt one of the most outstanding markets for wine made in Psagot. He mentioned the choice to show to Canadian courts might open the way in which for future circumstances to be filed in US courts. Israeli rights organizations additionally criticized Pompeo’s go to. Peace Now denounced Pompeo’s go to to the vineyard, saying it was constructed on land stolen from the Palestinians. It mentioned in a Nov. 18 assertion, “Psagot Winery began with the takeover of 80 dunams of Palestinian private land near Ramallah. A significant portion of the grapes from which the wine is made come from plundered soil.” It added, “A few years ago the wealthy American Falic brothers bought the winery. They also contribute generously to Trump, so the visit also doubles as a tribute to friends.” “Psagot Winery has become a symbol of the settlers’ failure to gain worldwide recognition — about a year ago, a lawsuit filed in France by the winery demanding that it be recognized as a product from Israel was rejected” by the European judiciary, Peace Now wrote. Pompeo’s go to to Psagot appears to be a farewell go to or the final present from the Trump administration to Israel. It is tantamount to a sensible implementation of the administration’s determination to contemplate the settlements established on occupied land as authorized and legit, culminating 4 years throughout which the administration didn’t stand in the way in which of any Israeli tasks and plans.