US concerned about Israel’s settlement expansion in the West Bank

The US is criticizing Israel after the Israeli Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Council approved building hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank yesterday and also re-approved the construction of 179 housing units that was thwarted in the past.
Construction in the settlements Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Yesterday (Tuesday), Israel approved the construction of hundreds of housing units throughout the West Bank. In response, the US State Department published an announcement today voicing its deep concern regarding the settlement expansion: “The construction harms both the Palestinians and Israel.”

“We are deeply concerned by the Israeli government’s announcement to advance building plans for more than 500 settlement units in the West Bank,” said a senior level US State Department official.

The State Department announcement warned that building in the West Bank will damage Israeli-Palestinian relations. It also claimed that the absence of a diplomatic solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict harms Israel, the Palestinians and the interests of the US and the entire international community.

However, the Israeli Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Council’s approval for tenders does not constitute the final approval for renewing construction. Before the final approval is granted, those who oppose the decision will be requested to publish their arguments. Meanwhile, the Israeli government issued additional tenders for the building of 323 new housing units in East Jerusalem and 42 housing units in Kiryat Arba that will cost a total of $13 million.

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