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US blasts Israel’s plans to expand settlements in Palestine’s West Bank

Price’s strong comments come after a weekend announcement by Israel that 1,300 new settlement homes would be built in the occupied West Bank, in addition to discussions over 3,000 more homes.

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The US State Department hit out at Israel over plans to expand settlements in the West Bank and warned the Israeli government that doing so would damage efforts to reach a two-state solution.

“We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm,” Spokesman Ned Price told reporters during a daily briefing.

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Price’s strong comments come after a weekend announcement by Israel that 1,300 new settlement homes would be built in the occupied West Bank, in addition to discussions over 3,000 more homes.

“We are deeply concerned about the Israeli government’s plan to advance thousands of settlement units tomorrow, Wednesday, many of them deep in the West Bank,” Price said, adding that plans to retroactively legalize building outposts were “unacceptable.”

The Biden administration has been noticeably more active than the Trump administration in condemning illegal Israeli activities and settlements.

But on Tuesday, Price stopped short of saying that bilateral ties with Israel would be damaged if the Israeli government pushed ahead with the move.

Read more: Israeli minister says reopening of US Palestinian mission in Jerusalem may not happen