President Joe Biden has conditioned his upcoming visit to Israel this month, under the pretext of Israel not building on “settlements”.
The Biden administration on Friday warned Israel about its plans to build in the “settlements” and President Biden has held his upcoming visit to Israel in about a month as collateral on the issue.
In response, Israeli officials told the Biden administration that if the government refrains from advancing the plan to build thousands of homes in Yehuda and the Shomron, the coalition will dissolve. Yamina MK Nir Aurbach, who issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the building issue, responded to the report by stating: “Construction in the settlements isn’t a decision of a foreign entity, senior as he may be. Whoever doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to build in Yehudah and Shomron is welcome not to come.”
“Israel’s program of expanding settlements deeply damages the prospect for a two-state solution,” Deputy State Department spokesperson Jalina Porter said on Friday.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked stated that she “welcomes the meeting of the Higher Planning Council in preparation for the construction of about 4,000 housing units…Construction in Yehudah and Shomron is a basic and necessary thing and should be taken for granted.”
As it stands, Israel was set to approve 5,800 homes in the Shomron but reduced it to 4,000 after discussions with Biden administration officials.