Efforts by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to stop Israel from building more housing in the West Bank have failed, according to a new report.
On Sunday, Israel announced that it was moving forward with work to create 1,355 housing units in the West Bank, according to the Associated Press.
The Times reported that “three unnamed Israeli officials familiar with the call” said Blinken told Gantz that Israel’s plans were “unacceptable.”
“The Americans gave us a yellow card,” a senior Israeli official is quoted as having said after the call.
The report said that Israel should consider what the Biden administration thinks when it acts in the future to add settlements.
Gantz offered soft words to Blinken saying Israel would consider what the Biden administration might have to say, according to the Times.
The Blinken call came after days of American disapproval.
When news of the new housing first emerged, Michael Ratney, America’s top diplomat in Jerusalem, called Israeli official Shimrit Meir to complain, in a conversation Axios said its sources described as “difficult.”
RELEASE: Sen. Cruz Slams Biden-Harris For ‘Reflexive Antipathy’ Toward Israel After State Dept. Criticism Of Anti-Terrorism Action https://t.co/UruZSNCanw
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 25, 2021
On Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said during a briefing that the Biden administration was “deeply concerned about the Israeli Government’s plan to advance thousands of settlement units tomorrow, Wednesday, many of them deep in the West Bank.”
“We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm, and it damages the prospects for a two-state solution,” Price said.
On Friday, Price made a similar statement, but targeted both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Tuesday’s statement only chided Israel.
“We are concerned about the announcement of a meeting next week to advance settlement units deep in the West Bank, and believe it is critical for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tension and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution,” Price said on Friday, Axios reported.
We built peace for the region with Arab partners. Do not take us backwards by traveling with terrorists who pay their own to kill people in Israel.
Bad for US security — both home and abroad.https://t.co/Dm7lYgbD3i
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) October 27, 2021
The scolding of Israel comes at a time filled with a lot of anti-Israel sentiment. Douglas Schoen and Andrew Stein noted in an Op-Ed in the New York Post that these feelings against Israel have “even infiltrated US policymaking, sending an even louder message and carrying real consequences for Israel.”
The West Bank was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967.
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