US “strongly oppose” further Israeli settlement growth

WASHINGTON, March 15 (KUNA) — The Obama Administration on Tuesday said it is “concerned” about one of the largest takeovers of land in the West Bank in many years, adding there are “serious questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.” Israeli Army Radio announced that the government is seizing 579 acres near the Dead Sea in the Palestinian city of Jericho, where plans have been made to expand settlements.
“This decision is, in our view, the latest step in what appears to be an ongoing process of land expropriations, settlement expansions and legalizations of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution,” State Department Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.
“We continue to look to both sides to demonstrate with actions and policies a genuine commitment to a two-state solution. Actions such as these do just the opposite,” he added.
The move comes less than a week after US Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel, and while Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is a visit to Washington to ask for USD 50 billion in military assistance over the next decade. (end) ys.ibi