Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed during his Monday night meeting with U.S. President, Barack Obama, to place a limited decrease on Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Obama-Netanyahu meeting lasted for 1 hours and 40 minutes, and was not followed by a press conference.
The White House issued a statement revealing that Obama confirmed his commitment to Israel’s security and interests, and that the two leaders held talks on a number of issues, including the efforts to resume peace talks in the Middle East, and the so-called Iranian threat.
Israeli sources reported that Netanyahu vowed to impose certain limitations on Israel’s settlement activities but did not agree to a full freeze.
Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, participated in the first half of the meeting.
Barak said that the talks focused on the importance of resuming the peace process with the Palestinians despite all difficulties and challenges.
He added that more efforts are needed from all parties in order to overcome the obstacles and cease the ‘opportunity’.
Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, including in occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal, violate the International Law and the Fourth Geneva Conventions.
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly states that an occupying power cannot transfer citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory.
An occupying power cannot make permanent changes in the occupied areas
unless the changes are meant for military needs, or unless the changes benefit the local population.
Settlements violate all international human rights declarations, violate the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and infringe the Palestinian right of self-determination, and freedom of movement.