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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo poses for a photo with President Donald J. Trump before his swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on May 2, 2018. (Photo: State Department photo)

The United States has the dubious distinction of being the world’s leading arms dealer. It dominates the global trade in a historic fashion and nowhere is that domination more complete than in the Middle East.

If Israel were to annex 30 percent of the West Bank, as envisaged in the US administration’s “deal of the century”, and the international community were to accept this step, it would indeed be the biggest breach of international law since World War II. It would set a precedent that would shake the international legal order. Palestinians in annexed enclaves would have the status of illegal aliens, Michael Sfard says.

Laura Comstock sitting at the border checkpoint between Jordan and the West Bank.

Laura Comstock shares her experience trying to enter the West Bank from Jordan to attend a wedding in Ramallah: “[The Israeli border agents’] attitudes changed completely when I informed them I would be staying with my university professor in Ramallah that night and became extremely hostile. I was then interrogated and screamed at by three border agents with a large line of other American tourists who were behind me. I was immediately detained without explanation and my passport was taken from me.”

“The night is filled with the anxiety that any interaction with Israeli security triggers. We leave all of our suspicious material on Palestine, human rights, and any evidence of an interest in justice in an extra bag in Amman to retrieve on our return, and arrive at Allenby Bridge at 7:30 am.” — Alice Rothchild on entering Palestine from Jordan.

About 50 protesters in Amman oppose Jordan’s multi-billion-dollar pipeline deal with Israel in a demonstration at the Parliament, observed by Alice Rothchild. One sign: “The gas of our enemy [Israel] is occupation.” But police soon move in to scatter the demonstration.

Alice Rothchild visits a church in Amman that has gained a regional reputation for caring for refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom fled ISIS atrocities and are afraid to return. “Forty percent of the women are widows and many refugees have experienced unimaginably severe and chronic trauma from abuse.”