Washington: The United States no longer considers Israeli colonies to be “inconsistent with international law,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday, in a shift in American foreign policy.

“After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees... (the) establishment of Israeli civilian settlements [colonies] in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo said.

Until now, US policy was based on a legal opinion issued by the State Department in 1978, which said that establishing of colonies in the Palestinian territories went against international law.