After Tel Aviv pledged to expand settlement construction, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed, on Monday, that the United States was “deeply disturbed” by the Israeli government’s intention to approve thousands of Building permits in the West Bank occupied.
“Return to dialogue”
The spokesman added that Washington calls on Israel to return to the dialogue aimed at stopping the escalation.
‘an obstacle to peace’
“The United States, in accordance with its longstanding policy, opposes such unilateral measures that make the realization of the two-state solution more difficult and constitute an obstacle to peace,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
A plan to expand settlement
Yesterday, Sunday, the Israeli government approved a plan to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank, in a move strongly condemned by the Palestinian and Jordanian governments.
Under this plan, the procedures for approving settlement construction will be greatly reduced, as well as making the decision regarding settlement construction in the hands of Bezalel Smotrich, the Minister of Finance and responsible for settlement in the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Changing the status quo for 25 years
According to the Israeli “Kan” radio, the decision requires that construction plans in the settlements be advanced without the approval of the political level, contrary to the situation that has existed for 25 years.
Previously, the procedures used required that the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense approve any phase of the building plans separately, through 4 or more different approval processes, and it would continue for several years.
Jordanian Palestinian condemnation
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry considered Smotrich’s mandate to approve settlements “a dangerous escalation to complete the annexation of the West Bank.”
The ministry added, “We warn of the dangers resulting from this decision, which is considered another step towards applying Israeli law to the West Bank and completing the episodes of its annexation, and facilitating the passage of settlement projects quietly, without noise, and in short stages that may not be raised in the media.”
The ministry called for “real international and American action and pressure on the Israeli government to discourage it from taking this decision, and to take the necessary practical steps to force the Israeli government to stop its illegal unilateral measures that undermine the opportunity to implement the principle of the two-state solution and disregard international law, decisions of international legitimacy and signed agreements.” “.
The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the Israeli government’s decision, and the official spokesman for the ministry, Ambassador Sinan Majali, affirmed that “the settlement expansion and the displacement of residents from their homes is a flagrant violation and a gross violation of international law and international legitimacy resolutions, foremost of which is Security Council Resolution No. (2343).”
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