US asks Israel to halt settlement construction in West Bank

U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the White House (GPO - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  October 7, 2021

The administration of US President Joe Biden has asked Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to halt the construction of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, Israel’s Walla news site reported.

The site quoted Israeli sources as saying that the US Chargé d’Affaires Michael Ratney conveyed the request to Bennett’s office last week.

According to the sources, Ratney has also raised concerns about the possibility of future construction in the E1 corridor between Jerusalem and the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

An American official told the site that the US administration has been in touch with Israel about settlements every week since Biden hosted Bennett at the White House in late August.

Some 650,000 Israelis are currently living illegally in the West Bank, scattered across 164 settlements and 124 outposts.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements and outposts in occupied territories are considered illegal.