Washington is “deeply troubled” by Israel’s decision yesterday to “advance reportedly nearly 10,000 settlement units and to begin a process to retroactively legalize nine outposts in the West Bank that were previously illegal under Israeli law,” according to a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday.
The State Department said its stance is in line with prior Democrat and Republican administrations that “strongly oppose such unilateral measures, which exacerbate tensions and undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.”
Blinken called on Israelis and Palestinians to avoid escalating tensions in the region and “to take practical steps that can improve the well-being of the Palestinian people.”
The statement did not comment on two attacks in Jerusalem on Monday. An Israeli border policeman died after being stabbed by a terrorist and hit by friendly fire during the attack, and another terrorist stabbed and wounded an Israeli teen in the Old City. The State Department also did not mention that the Israeli Security Cabinet’s decision to legalize the communities came after a terrorist attack in Jerusalem murdered three Israelis, including children.