The US expressed deep concern over the Israeli government’s announcement to approve more than 4,000 new illegal settlement units in the West Bank, according to State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. Miller emphasised that settlement expansion is an obstacle to peace and opposes unilateral actions that hinder the achievement of a two-state solution.
He called on the Israeli government to fulfil its commitments for dialogue and de-escalation as agreed in Aqaba, Jordan, and Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Israeli public broadcaster KAN reported that Israel will also initiate judicial reform this week. The planned reform has caused political turmoil, with critics accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of seeking executive authority.
Netanyahu defends the reform, claiming it would enhance democracy and restore the balance among government branches. In response to protests and pressure, Netanyahu temporarily halted the plans in March. The United Nations considers Israeli settlement activity illegal and detrimental to the internationally agreed two-state solution. Estimates suggest that approximately 700,000 settlers reside in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the occupied West Bank.
According to international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.