Middle East conflict: US criticizes Israel’s settlement plans

Status: 10/27/2021 8:07 a.m.

For the first time in years, the US government has again sharply criticized Israeli settlement construction. Israel’s announcement that it plans to build thousands of new homes in the West Bank is “deeply concerned.”

The US State Department has sharply criticized the continued construction of settlements by the new Israeli government in the occupied West Bank. Foreign Office spokesman Ned Price said they were “deeply concerned” about the latest announcements.

“We firmly oppose the expansion of settlements,” Price continued. This runs counter to efforts to reduce tensions and affects the prospect of a two-state solution. Price announced that the US government would discuss the settlement plans with Israeli officials in camera.

Israel plans to build thousands of homes

It is the first time in years that the US has publicly and harshly criticized Israeli settlement policy. US President Joe Biden is thus sharply deviating from the course of his predecessor Donald Trump. Under him, the US had given blanket approval of Israeli settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory.

The reason for the criticism from the US government was the announcement by the Israeli government that it would press ahead with the expansion of settlements in the West Bank. A spokesman for Israeli housing minister Seew Elkin announced on Sunday that tenders had been published for the marketing of more than 1,300 apartments. These include 729 apartments in the settler town of Ariel and 346 in the Beit El settlement.

US criticizes Israel for continuing to build settlements

daily news 07:00 a.m., 27.10.2021

A few days earlier reports had been received about the planned approval of construction plans for more than 3,000 apartments in Israeli settlements and 1,300 apartments in Palestinian villages in the West Bank.

Bennett against two-state solution

During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem, among others. Around 600,000 Israelis live there today in more than 200 settlements. In 2016, the UN Security Council called these settlements a violation of international law and called on Israel to stop all settlement activities.

The Palestinians want to establish their own state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, who was sworn in only in mid-June, is considered a fierce opponent of a two-state solution. His Jamina party has many supporters among the Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Nonetheless, unlike that of his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett’s government is trying to bring about rapprochement with the Palestinian leadership in the conflict.


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