The United States considers Israel’s sweeping plan to increase funding for illegal settlements in the West Bank as a threat to efforts to reach a two-state settlement.
The plan also worsens trust between Israelis and Palestinians, US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters on Thursday (17/8).
According to him, the expansion of settlements undermines the geographical feasibility of sustaining a two-state solution.
Patel made the statement while commenting on a proposal to allocate nearly $200 million worth of funds to expand settlements and build outposts in the West Bank.
“That could fuel tensions and further undermine the trust between the two sides… we strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, and urge Israel not to do it,” Patel said of Israel’s plans.
“We treat this issue very seriously,” he said, adding.
About 700 thousand Israelis currently live in 164 settlements and 116 areas in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
According to international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are illegal.
Source : Antara News