Politics

US ‘strongly opposes’ Israel’s plan to expand settlements, but Biden’s visit still scheduled – The Forward

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Joe Biden’s plans to go to Israel subsequent month seem like unaffected by Israel’s steps to increase Jewish settlements within the West Bank, whilst his administration “strongly opposes” the anticipated approval of just about 4,000 items.

“We understand that Israel announced a meeting to advance new West Bank settlement units for May 12,” Jalina Porter, a State Department spokeswoman, mentioned Friday in a media name. “The Biden administration has been clear from the outset: We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which exacerbates tensions and undermines trust between the parties. Israel’s program of expanding settlements deeply damages the prospect for the two-state solution.”

Porter launched the decision by first condemning the newest terrorist assault in Israel, in Elad on Thursday, which killed three folks.

“This was a horrific attack targeting innocent men and women,” she mentioned. “It was particularly heinous coming as Israel celebrated its independence day.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, main a precarious coalition that controls simply 60 seats within the 120-seat Knesset, acceded this week to calls for from extra right-wing lawmakers that he permit the accountable authorities to approve new constructing within the West Bank. The calls have intensified in current weeks amid a spate of lethal terrorist assaults.

Pressed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as as to if there can be repercussions for the announcement, and whether or not it could have an effect on Biden’s plans to go to, Porter would solely say, “We have been clear about the need to avoid unilateral steps that would exacerbate tensions and make it more difficult to preserve the viability of a two state solution.”

Israeli media, citing Israeli officers, had reported on Friday that the announcement wouldn’t have an effect on Biden’s plans to go to. There have been reviews that Bennett’s authorities would quickly announce permits for constructing for Palestinians in West Bank areas below Israeli management, which could possibly be seen as a concession to Biden for the Jewish settlement enlargement.

One of essentially the most critical crises in U.S.-Israel relations in current occasions got here throughout Biden’s 2010 go to as vp, when the Netanyahu authorities introduced new constructing in jap Jerusalem at a time that the Obama administration hoped to kickstart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.



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