Israel on Wednesday went ahead with plans to build 3,000 homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, in defiance of US President Joe Biden’s government’s overwhelming criticism of such plans.
A top Palestinian official said the decision shows that Israel’s new government, led by far – right politician Naftali Bennett, is “no more serious” than the administration of its ousted senior leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.
An Israeli defense official said the Planning Council of the Israeli-Palestinian Ministry of Planning had given preliminary approval for a plan to build 1,344 housing units and final approval to build 1,800 homes.
Benny Kants, a central defense minister in Israel’s politically different government, must approve building permits. There should be more friction with Washington up front.
“This government is trying to balance its good relations with the Biden government and various political restrictions,” a senior Israeli official told Reuters.
The United States said Tuesday it was “deeply concerned” about Israel’s plans to build thousands of immigration units.
The Biden administration said the move was detrimental to the two countries’ chances of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and said it was “strongly opposed to the expansion of the solution.”
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