Blinken: Expansion of Jewish Settlements in Palestine Becomes an Obstacle to Peace

Washington, MINA – United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to continue his country’s commitment to Israel’s security and a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, but said the expansion of Jewish settlements would be an obstacle to peace.

In an address to the pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, Blinken also said moves toward annexing the Israeli-occupied West Bank or disrupting the status quo in holy sites would hurt prospects for two-state peace.

“Settlement expansion clearly presents obstacles to the horizon of hope we are seeking,” Blinken said as quoted by the Middle East Monitor on Tuesday.

“Similarly, every step toward annexation of the West Bank, de facto or de jure, disruption of the historic status quo in holy sites, continued demolition of homes and eviction of families who have lived in those homes for generations undermines the prospects of two generations. They it also undermines the basic everyday dignity to which all people are entitled,” Blinken added.

Blinken, who will travel to Saudi Arabia this week, said the United States would continue to assist Israel’s efforts to integrate with its neighbors, including by creating a new position for a diplomat tasked with working towards a more peaceful and connected Middle East.

“The United States has a real national security interest in promoting normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Blinken added.

President Joe Biden’s administration has criticized Israel’s right-wing government for actions it sees as consolidation of settlements and for “provocative” visits by members of the government to holy sites in Jerusalem. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)