US must pressure Israel to stop settlement expansion, congressmen say – Middle East Monitor
Some 26 House Democrats yesterday urged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to pressure the Israeli government to refrain from building settlements in the “E1 area” between Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
Led by Congressman Mark Pocan, who recently visited Israel and the West Bank, lawmakers have expressed “immense concern” over Israeli efforts to advance approval of settlement expansion plans.
I led 25 of my colleagues to send @SecBlinken a letter outlining our concerns about the efforts of the Government of Israel to advance settlements in the E-1 area near Jerusalem in the West Bank. Read more: pic.twitter.com/c36fp3TEmK
– Representative Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) 22 November 2021
In their letter to Blinken, they highlighted how the settlements reinforce the occupation, undermine the prospects for a two-state solution, undermine the viability of a Palestinian state, and represent a violation of international law, Haaretz reported.
Lawmakers noted that there had been a 28% increase in settlement building under the Trump administration, which is a dramatic departure from previous US administrations on both sides (Democratic and Republican).
They went on to describe Israel’s plans to advance approval of 3,400 housing units in E1 as “an irreconcilable challenge to a lasting peace solution.”
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