Joe Biden
Joe BidenOfficial White House Photo by Adam Schultz

Israeli officials believe that US President Joe Biden's planned visit to eastern Jerusalem, during his upcoming trip to Israel, is a response to the Israeli announcement that the Supreme Planning Council of the Civil Administration will approve 3,988 housing units this coming Thursday, Kan 11 News reports.

According to the report, the Americans are planning for Biden to visit a hospital in eastern Jerusalem, without an Israeli presence. At the same time, however, Biden's visit to eastern Jerusalem also depends on security considerations.

The move is already being met with criticism because, according to Israeli sources, Biden's visit to eastern Jerusalem creates a de facto division of Israel.

US State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter responded on Friday to the announcement of the new Israeli construction and said that the Biden administration opposes it.

“We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements which exacerbates tensions and undermines trust between the parties,” she said. “Israel’s program of expanding settlements deeply damages the prospects for a two-state solution.”

Her comments came despite the fact that the move was coordinated with the US administration, which even sent a message to Israel that Biden’s visit will not be canceled, despite the building permits.