US State Department Criticizes Israeli Plans to Expand Illegal Settlements

Washington, MINA – The United States State Department criticized Israeli plans to expand the illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories saying they exacerbate tensions and undermine trust between the parties.

“The Biden administration has been clear from the outset. We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements which exacerbates tensions and undermines trust between the parties,” said Jalina Porter, the State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson as quoted by Wafa on Saturday.

“Israel’s program of expanding settlements deeply damages the prospect for a two-state solution,” she said in a telephone briefing on Israel’s announcement of a meeting on May 12 to advance 4000 new West Bank settlement units.

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In answering a question if there will be any repercussions, particularly related to US President Joe Biden’s visit next month to the region, Porter said the US administration has been clear “about the need to avoid unilateral steps that would exacerbate tensions and make it more difficult to preserve the viability of a two-state solution,” refusing to comment about Biden’s upcoming trip. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)