BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJune 26, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 26, 2023
1 year ago

Netanyahu Defies Biden, Announces Major West Bank Move

Israel is moving forward with a major plan for increased settlements in the West Bank.

An estimated 5,700 new settlement homes, all at various levels of planning, were approved Monday by the government of Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Associated Press.

“The US is deeply troubled” by the move, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

“The US opposes such unilateral actions that make a two-state solution more difficult to achieve and are an obstacle to peace,” he said.

However, Yesha Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said the expansion was “the most appropriate Zionist answer to all those who seek to harm us.”

Ariel Elmeliach, mayor of the Eli settlement on the West Bank, framed the expansion as the perfect response to last week’s shooting at his settlement, said, according to Haaretz.

Residents of the Eli settlement have "gone through a shocking week, with the murder of four of our best people. There is only one answer to terrorism: construction and more construction,” he said.

"In the place where Jews are murdered, there will be more neighborhoods and more settlements built,” he said.

Four Israelis were killed in the attack, according to AP, which noted that 1,000 of the houses approved are in the Eli settlement.

More than 700,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, both of which were captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Palestinians condemned the expansion.

“The Netanyahu government is moving forward with its aggression and open war against the Palestinian people,” said Wassel Abu Yousef, a Palestinian official in the West Bank. “We affirm that all settler colonialism in all the occupied Palestinian territories is illegitimate and illegal.”

On Monday, the Biden administration upended a Trump administration policy and banned support for scientific research projects carried out by Israel in the West Bank.

U.S. agencies were told that "engaging in bilateral scientific and technological cooperation with Israel in geographic areas which came under the administration of Israel after 1967 and which remain subject to final-status negotiations is inconsistent with US foreign policy," Miller of the state department said, according to France 24.

The United States "strongly values scientific and technological cooperation with Israel,” he said, noting that the Biden administration’s action "is reflective of the long-standing US position going back decades."

Simcha Rothman, a member of Israel's governing coalition, told the AP that the Biden administration has a “pathological obsession” with Israel's government.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal



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