US: Israeli settlement bill 'unprecedented and troubling step'

“I can’t rule out that there may be a new initiative before the end of this administration.”

By
November 14, 2016 22:00
1 minute read.
obama abbas netanyahu

US President Barack Obama arrives with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) in Washington September 1, 2010. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The United States harshly condemned Israeli legislative attempts to authorize some 2,000 illegal settler homes on private Palestinian property on Monday.

“We’re deeply concerned,” said Elizabeth Trudeau, the US State Department’s Director for Press Operations.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The legislation, she said, “could pave the way for the legalization of dozens of illegal outposts deep in the West Bank.” It “would represent an unprecedented and troubling step that is inconsistent with prior Israeli legal opinion and breaks non-standing Israeli policy of not building on private Palestinian land,” Trudeau told reporters in Washington.

“Our policy on settlements is clear, we believe they are corrosive to the cause of peace. This legislation would be a dramatic advancement of the settlement enterprise, which is already gravely endangering the prospects for a two-state solution.

“This only makes clearer the choice Israel faces between building more settlements and preserving the possibility of peace,” Trudeau said.

Israel’s attorney-general has “expressed serious doubts about the constitutionality” of the proposed legislation, she said adding that the US hoped it did not become law.

Her statement follows a number of unusually harsh words the US has said about Israeli settlement activity over the last months.



Trudeau did not comment on what action if any the US might take on the settlement issue in US President Barack Obama’s last two months in office.

Israel is fearful that during that time he may turn to the UN Security Council on settlements or with a proposal with respect to the stalled peace process with the Palestinians.

Last week US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, “I can’t rule out that there may be a new initiative before the end of this administration.”

On Monday the Palestinians announced that in light of the legislation they were determined to bring the issue of settlements to the UN Security Council, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Such legislation “is going to bring disasters to the region,” Abu Rudeineh said. He added that the Palestinians would turn to other international institutions as well, “to stop this Israeli escalation.”

Related Content

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo
August 14, 2018
Egypt summons Palestinian groups for truce, unity talks

By TOVAH LAZAROFF, KHALED ABU TOAMEH