mcloudy.png
Sunday June 20th, 2021 8:41PM

Israel announces new settler homes, risking Biden's anger

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel on Monday advanced plans to build 800 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, a move that could strain ties with the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced the move, saying it would include 100 homes in a settlement where an Israeli woman was killed last month in an attack allegedly carried out by a Palestinian assailant.

The announcement will burnish Netanyahu's right-wing credentials in a tough campaign ahead of March elections, but it could anger Biden, who is opposed to settlement expansion and has clashed with Israel over it in the past.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war, territories the Palestinians want for their future state. Nearly 500,000 Israelis live in settlements scattered across the West Bank. The Palestinians view settlements as a violation of international law and an obstacle to peace, a position with wide international support.

The Palestinian Authority's Foreign Ministry condemned the latest announcement, accusing Israel of “racing against time” to build settlements before President Donald Trump leaves office.

Trump's administration provided unprecedented support to Israel, including by abandoning a decades-old U.S. policy of opposing settlements. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last year became the first top U.S. diplomat to visit a West Bank settlement.

Biden has pledged a more even-handed approach in which he will restore aid to the Palestinians that was cut off by Trump and work to revive peace negotiations. The two sides have not held substantive peace talks in more than a decade.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, who hopes to unseat Netanyahu in March, called the settlement announcement an “irresponsible step" that would spark a “battle” with the new U.S. administration.

“The Biden administration has not yet taken office and the government is already leading us into an unnecessary confrontation,” he tweeted. “The national interest must also be maintained during elections.”

The greatest threat to Netanyahu in the coming vote comes from the right, where Gideon Saar, a former ally and staunch supporter of settlements, has broken away and vowed to end his long rule. Polls show Netanyahu's Likud winning the most votes but falling short of a majority coalition in Israel's 120-seat Knesset, or parliament.

The announcement said 100 homes would be built in Tel Manashe, a West Bank settlement where Esther Horgan, a 53-year-old mother of six, was killed last month while jogging in a nearby forest. Israel says it has detained a Palestinian suspect in the attack.

It was not immediately clear how soon the homes would be built, as such construction usually requires approval from several government bodies and a tendering process.

The announcement came as neighboring Egypt hosted the foreign ministers of Jordan, Germany and France to discuss ways of reviving talks aimed at a two-state solution, which is still widely seen as the only way of resolving the decades-old conflict.

Monday's announcement of Israel's settlement plans “does not create the environment conducive to the resumption of negotiations that are the only path to a two-state solution,” Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said.

In their joint statement, the ministers called for Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities, including in east Jerusalem.”

___

Associated Press writers Samy Magdy in Cairo and Areej Hazboun in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Uganda accuses Facebook of 'interfering' in tense polls
A Ugandan official accused Facebook of meddling in the country's upcoming election after several accounts linked to the campaign of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni were removed for alleged inauthentic behavior
7:48AM ( 1 minute ago )
Israel announces new settler homes, risking Biden's anger
Israel has advanced plans to build 800 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, a move that could strain ties with the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden
7:47AM ( 3 minutes ago )
South Africa struggles with post-holiday spike in COVID-19
South Africa is struggling to cope with a spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the spread of its more infectious variant during widespread holiday travel
7:25AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Snow, and now ice, disrupt Spaniards' lives, vaccine rollout
The Spanish capital is trying to get back on its feet after a 50-year record snowfall that paralyzed large parts of central Spain over the weekend
4:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
Yemen's rebels defiant as aid agencies fear US terror label
Yemen's Iran-backed rebels are dismissing the Trump administration's move to designate their group a terrorist organization
4:48AM ( 3 hours ago )
China: WHO experts arriving Thursday for virus origins probe
China says a group of experts from the World Health Organization are due to arrive Thursday for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic
4:08AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Saar, longtime Netanyahu ally, emerges as his top challenger
Gideon Saar has for years been one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s most loyal and vocal supporters, serving as Cabinet secretary and government minister
1:35AM ( 6 hours ago )
Capitol police were overrun, little defense against rioters
Despite ample warnings about pro-Trump demonstrations in Washington, U.S. Capitol Police did not bolster staffing on Wednesday and made no preparations for the possibility that the planned protests could escalate into massive violent riots, according to several people briefed on law enforcement’s response
1:31AM ( 6 hours ago )
Indonesia intensifies search for crashed plane's black boxes
The search for the black boxes of a crashed Sriwijaya Air jet has intensified to boost the investigation into what caused the plane carrying 62 people to nosedive into Indonesia seas
1:13AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online National News
South Africa struggles with post-holiday spike in COVID-19
South Africa is struggling to cope with a spike in COVID-19 cases driven by the spread of its more infectious variant during widespread holiday travel
7:25AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Pope says women can read at Mass, but still can't be priests
Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly allow women to do more things during Mass, while reaffirming they cannot be priests
6:55AM ( 54 minutes ago )
Leaders at summit focus on better protecting biodiversity
Protecting the world’s biodiversity is on the agenda for world leaders at the One Planet Summit, which was being held by videoconference due to the coronavirus pandemic
6:51AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Biden chooses veteran diplomat Burns as CIA director
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns to be his CIA director
6:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Indonesia navy divers hunt for crashed plane's black boxes
Indonesian navy divers are scouring the floor of the Java Sea as they hunt for the black boxes of a Sriwijaya Air jet that nosedived into the waters at high velocity with 62 people aboard
6:41AM ( 1 hour ago )