Israeli Political Leaders Rebuke Biden Administration’s Call For End To Settlement Of The West Bank

Israelis protest outside Israel's parliament, on the day that a new right-wing government is sworn in, with Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister, in Jerusalem

Israeli Political Leaders Rebuke Biden Administration’s Call For End To Settlement Of The West Bank

Kate Anderson on February 7, 2023

Members of the Israeli government indicated they plan to continue the highly controversial settlement in the West Bank despite requests from the Biden administration to cease all construction, according to Reuters.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraged a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestine conflict during his visit to the Middle East earlier this month, according to The Washington Post. Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party indicated that they did not plan to stop settling in Gaza, despite Blinken’s remarks, according to Reuters.

“There will be no construction freeze in Judea and Samaria period,” the Religious Zionism party said Tuesday in a statement.

Restoring calm is our immediate task,” Blinken said during a press conference addressing tensions between Israel and Palestine. “But over the longer term, we have to do more than just lower tensions.”

The secretary also reiterated the United State’s support of Israel but said the “only way” to peace meant that the “[t[he United States will continue to oppose anything that puts that goal further out of reach,” likely referring to Israel’s construction in the West Bank, according to The Post.

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In addition, Blinken reportedly asked Netanyahu to cease construction in Gaza, and or Samaria and Judea as Israelis often call the area, according to Reuters, but noted that the request was not a “formal demand” from the state department. The department also told the Palestinian Authority during the secretary’s trip that the U.S. wanted the PA to reintroduce “security coordination” with Israel and to stop pushing for action against Israel in the United Nations, according to Axios.

The White House and the State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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