The administration of US President Barack Obama has condemned Israel’s planned land grab in the occupied West Bank.
The Tel Aviv regime on Wednesday announced that it approved the expropriation of some 370 acres agricultural land near the Palestinian city of Ariha (Jericho), which is located near the Jordan River in the occupied West Bank.
In response, the US State Department Spokesman said Tel Aviv’s decision is against its commitment to the so-called two-state solution.
“We strongly oppose any steps that could accelerate settlement expansion and we believe they’re fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and call into question frankly the Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
Earlier this week, US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro slammed Israeli authorities for unjustly treating Palestinians, and grabbing their land.
Shapiro on Monday raised “questions about Israel’s long-term intentions” in the occupied West Bank, saying the US administration is “concerned and perplexed” by Tel Aviv’s settlement policy in the area.
The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.
The continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlement colonies built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of its future independent state, with East al-Quds as its capital.