White House ‘Deeply Dismayed’ by Israel Settlement Expansion in Occupied West Bank

US President Joe Biden. (Photo. Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons)

The United States is “deeply dismayed” at an Israeli Cabinet decision to expand Jewish settlement activity in the Occupied West Bank, the White House said on Thursday, suggesting President Joe Biden was prepared to take a harder line in dealing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Reuters news agency reported.

Such activity “creates facts on the ground that undermine a two-state solution” between Israelis and Palestinians, White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters.

“We are deeply dismayed by Israelis’ announcement that they will advance thousands of new settlements and retroactively legalize nine outposts in the West Bank that were, until now, illegal under Israeli law,” Jean-Pierre said.

On Sunday, Israel granted retroactive authorization to nine settler outposts in the West Bank and announced the mass construction of new homes in established settlements.

“The United States strongly opposes these unilateral measures which exacerbate tensions, harm trust between the parties and undermine the geographic viability of the two-state solution,” Jean-Pierre said.

She added that US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, made clear during a recent visit to the region that “all parties should refrain from actions that heighten tensions and take us further away from peace.”

(MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)

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