US ‘Deeply Troubled’ By Israel’s Decision To Continue Construction And Increase Police Presence In The West Bank

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Foreign ministers from the U.S., Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy released a joint statement Tuesday condemning Israel’s recent decision to continue resettling in the disputed territory in the West Bank, while also increasing its police presence in the area, according to a press release.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that he was “deeply troubled” that Israel announced it had legalized 10,000 additional “settlement units” and nine outposts for Israeli police, according to a press release. In response, five foreign ministers, including the U.S., announced Tuesday that they also were “strongly oppose[d]” to Israel’s recent decision and said they would continue to “closely monitor the situation.” (RELATED: Palestinian School Backed By US Gov Celebrated Terrorist Who Murdered 7 At Synagogue)

“We – the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Italy, the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, and the Secretary of State of the United States – are deeply troubled by the Israeli government’s announcement that it is advancing nearly 10,000 settlement units and intends to begin a process to normalize nine outposts that were previously deemed illegal under Israeli law,” the press release read. “We strongly oppose these unilateral actions which will only serve to exacerbate tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution.”

A picture shows newly built houses in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, near the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on February 3, 2023. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel decided during a cabinet meeting Sunday that they would be moving ahead with plans to continue the government’s policy of destroying the homes belonging to terrorists in the West Bank, as well as approving 10,000 new settlement units and nine police outposts to be built in the near future, according to Axios.

Blinken had expressed his concerns about such a decision during his trip to Israel and Palestine earlier this month and said during a press conference in Israel that while the U.S. is supportive of their ally, it would not condone “anything that puts that goal [of a two-state solution] further out of reach.” Blinken’s comments did not go over well with Israeli political leaders who said in response that there would be no “construction freeze” in the West Bank.

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said during a press briefing Monday that the department’s opinion on Israel’s decision was “very clear” and confirmed that U.S. officials were discussing the situation with Israel and Palestine.

“We’re registering our deep concern over what we heard within recent hours,” Price said. “We are doing this bilaterally. We are doing this multilaterally with a much broader group of partners, including a number of partners who share the concerns that I just outlined and the concerns that you heard from Secretary Blinken in the statement that he issued just a few minutes ago.”

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