Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that the U.S. would no longer view the settlements in the West Bank as a violation of international law, reversing a decades-long policy in the process.
Netanyahu visited the West Bank on Tuesday to celebrate Pompeo’s announcement, which is just the latest gift to his government from the Trump administration.
“I think it is a great day for the state of Israel and an achievement that will remain for decades,” he said while speaking to supporters, according to the AP.
Israel invaded the West Bank of the Jordan Valley in 1967. The West Bank now holds more than 400,000 Israeli settlers, with another 200,000 settlers in east Jerusalem, according to the AP.
Netanyahu has pushed for the annexation of the West Bank, something closer to being realized after Pompeo’s announcement. He also is hoping his opponent in the last election, Benny Gantz, will not meet a deadline Wednesday night for forming a government. Pompeo’s announcement could also play a factor in the internal negotiations among Israel’s political parties.
The Trump administration has taken many pro-Israel actions including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, acknowledging the Israeli annexation of Golan Heights and shutting down Palestinian offices in Washington.
Pompeo said the latest shift in policy would strengthen the U.S. position in its Mideast peace plan, which has not been released yet.