Biden Administration Sharply Criticizes Israel’s New Settlement Housing Plans
The Biden administration offered its sharpest criticism yet of Israel’s settlement building. “We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price during a briefing on Tuesday. He said that the new housing “damages the prospects for a two-state solution.” Price did not say how the US would react to the plans for 1,300 new housing units announced on Sunday and the expected 3,000 more units to be announced on Wednesday after a meeting of the Defense Ministry’s higher planning council, Defense Ministry’s higher planning council. “These are concerns that we have discussed at very senior levels, at the most senior levels, with our Israeli partners,” he said. “Our Israeli partners know where we stand, and we’ll continue to engage with them in our diplomacy on this.” The planning council also was expected to approve 1,600 housing units for Palestinians who live in areas of the West Bank that are under full Israeli control.
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