The United States Department of State expressed criticism of Israel on Tuesday, 5 Adar-II, addressing Israel’s land expropriations policy. State Department spokesman John Kirby said “We strongly oppose any steps that accelerate settlement expansion, which raises serious questions about Israel’s long-term intentions,” adding America is concerned that Israel’s expropriation of lands is detrimental to efforts towards implementing the two-state solution.
According to Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) based on a Peace Now report, Israel has expropriated 234 hectares (579 acres) of land in the Dead Sea and Yericho areas, claiming the land as state land.
Kirby reiterated that the US remains opposed to settlement expansion, which he fears creates more problems as efforts continue to reach a long term agreement between Israel and the PA (Palestinian Authority).
The State Department condemnation came on the heels of another condemnation of Israel, by the United Nations in which Ban Ki-Moon also addressed “settlement activities” by Israel.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)