A US official on Friday warned that Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria would inflame Israeli-Palestinian Arab tensions while impeding efforts to achieve a two-state solution, Haaretz reports.
“We believe it is critical for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and fundamentally undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution," the official was quoted as having said.
"This certainly includes settlement activity which will make achieving a two-state solution much more difficult. It’s critical to advance steps that will promote calm and reduce tensions."
The comment follows news that Israel will approve more than 2,000 new homes in Judea and Samaria.
The construction also includes plans for the construction of 1,000 housing units for Palestinian Arabs in Area C.
On Thursday, the heads of the Yesha Council criticized the approval of the construction of homes for Palestinian Arabs.
"The Jewish settlement in the heart of our ancestral homeland does not need Arab construction to make it 'kosher' and does not need to be dependent on approvals for the Arab population," said David Elhayani, head of the Yesha Council.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority also criticized the new construction, saying it "is in violation of all international legitimacy resolutions, mainly the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which clearly affirms the illegality of building settlements in all the Palestinian territories."
An Israeli political source told Haaretz earlier this week that the Biden administration "will express opposition to this move, but everyone wants this impossible coalition in Israel to hold out... It was clear to Bennett that he would not have been able to advance this move after his meeting with Biden at the end of the month, so as not to damage their relations, and that's why he had to announce it as early as he did."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)