Blinken: ‘Deeply troubled’ by Israel’s decision to legalize Judea and Samaria settlements

“We strongly oppose such unilateral measures, which exacerbate tensions.”

By World Israel News Staff

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said the Biden administration was “deeply troubled” by Israel’s recent moves legalizing nine communities in Judea and Samaria that was made in response to a spate of terror attacks in Jerusalem.

“We are 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 [Judea and Samaria] that were previously illegal under Israeli law,” Blinken said in a statement.

“Like previous administrations, Democratic and Republican, we strongly oppose such unilateral measures, which exacerbate tensions and undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution,” he added.

“Anything that takes us away from the vision of two states for two peoples is detrimental to Israel’s long-term security, its identity as a Jewish and democratic state, and to our vision of equal measures of security, freedom, prosperity, and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” he declared.

“We call on all parties to avoid additional actions that can further escalate tensions in the region and to take practical steps that can improve the well-being of the Palestinian people,” the top diplomat concluded.

The Security Cabinet on Sunday decided unanimously to authorize nine communities in Judea and Samaria: Avigail, Bet Hogla, Givat Harel/Haroeh, Givat Arnon, Mitzpe Yehuda, Malachei Hashalom, Ashael, Sde Boaz and Shaharit.

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These communities have existed for many years, some have- even existed for decades.

The move followed Friday’s deadly ramming attack that killed three people, including two young children, and injured several more in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Another two attacks took place in Jerusalem on Monday, killing one Israeli officer and injuring another. The Hamas terror group hailed the attacks as a “heroic operation” that was a worthy response to Israel’s decision to legalize the Judea and Samaria communities.