Middle East/North Africa

Israel presses ahead with West Bank settlement expansion despite US concern

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Israel is moved forward with its latest expansion of settlements in the West Bank despite growing concerns from the U.S., Reuters reported. 

The Israel Land Authority posted tenders for nearly 1,300 home settlements in the West Bank region that Palestinians want for a future state.

Israel’s government is also planning to discuss proposals of for 3,000 additional settlement homes in the region, according to Reuters. 

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters Friday that Israel’s new development may raise tensions and hurt efforts to reach a peace deal. 

“We are concerned about the announcement of a meeting next week to advance settlement units deep in the West Bank, and believe it is critical for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tension and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution,” Price told reporters. 

“This certainly includes settlement activity, as well as retroactive legalization of settlement outposts,” he added. 

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the new settlement could have a “catastrophic impact” on the potential for a two-state solution “and on regional, U.S, and international efforts to build confidence between the Israeli and Palestinian sides,” Reuters reported. 

Tags Israel Israel-Palestine conflict West Bank

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