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US Says 'Disappointed' By Israeli Plan To Build 3,000 Settlement Units In Occupied West Bank

23.02.2024 20:27

'New settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace,' says Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The US on Friday said that it is "disappointed" by Israeli announcement that it plans to build new 3,300 settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

"We've seen the reports and I have to say we're disappointed in the announcement," Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters during a press conference with Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"It's been long standing US policy, under Republican or Democratic administrations, that new settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace. They're also inconsistent with international law," he added.

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said on Friday that the relevant committee is expected to meet within two weeks to approve the establishment of 2,350 housing units in the Maaleh Adumim settlement, about 300 in the Kedar settlement, and 700 units in the Efrat settlement.

The decision comes in response to the shooting attack on Thursday near the Maaleh Adumim settlement, which resulted in the death of an Israeli soldier and the wounding of at least eight others.

Blinken also said that this was "another horrific terrorist attack", adding that the US will continue to "fully support" Israel's right to security and self-defense.

Netanyahu's post-war plans

Netanyahu has proposed to the Cabinet a plan for unlimited complete Israeli security control over Gaza, and the closure of the UNRWA agency as part of his plan when the war on Gaza is over.

Asked about the leaked plan, Blinken said he has seen the reports but not the plan itself.

"I want to reserve judgment until we actually see the details," he said.

Top US diplomat recalled the "basic principles" that is set by the US regarding Gaza's future, saying that there should be "no Israeli reoccupation of Gaza" and the "size of Gaza's territory should not be reduced."

He also added that Gaza cannot be a "platform for terrorism".

"At the same time, we have many countries in the region that are working together on a plan for post-war Gaza," he said, "And I spent some time with some of our Arab partners including recently on the margins of the G-20."

The plan is "absolutely necessary," Blinken said, but "one that is consistent with basic principles that I think many countries share about what has to be Gaza's future." -

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