Israeli official: US made clear its opposition to 'settlements'

Senior Israeli official said the US made clear to Israel its opposition to building on land that Palestinian Arabs want for a future state.

Elad Benari ,

Lapid and Blinken
Lapid and Blinken
Shlomi Amsalem/GPO

The United States made clear during talks this week its opposition to Israel's building of Jewish communities on land that Palestinian Arabs want for a future state, a senior Israeli official told Reuters on Thursday.

Asked if the US side had raised the issue during the visit of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who met Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top officials in Washington, the Israeli official told reporters, "Yes."

"They raised it, and not in a 'Great job, guys, go ahead'" way, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Reuters noted that a senior Biden administration official this month said Israel is well aware of the administration's view of the need to refrain from actions such as construction of new Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria that could be seen as "provocative" and undermine efforts to achieve the “two-state solution”.

The Biden administration has said it supports the two-state solution, with Blinken saying in an interview earlier year this year that this is the only way to provide hope to Israelis and Palestinian Arabs that they can live "with equal measures of security, of peace and dignity."

The Biden administration’s position on this issue is a policy shift from the previous administration of Donald Trump.

While Trump said while in office he thought the two-state solution “works best”, he also said he would be comfortable with what the sides ultimately decide on.

After Trump unveiled his so-called “Deal of the Century” peace plan, Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas was quick to reject it, saying it would be relegated to the "dustbin of history."