Israeli media sources reported that the United States administration invited the Israeli ambassador to protest against the Israeli Knesset’s new votes for resettlement in the northern occupied West Bank.
During the meeting, the US Administration raised concern regarding Knesset’s vote to cancel the 2005 Disengagement Law. The law had banned Israel from constructing settlements in the northern areas of the occupied West Bank.
Rescinding the 2005 Disengagement Law, the Israeli new government allows settlers to return to four settlements in the northern occupied West Bank. The four settlements were evacuated within the 2005 Law.
Earlier on Tuesday, the US Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel condemned the move, stressing that the US still considers “advancing settlements is an obstacle to peace and the achievement of a two-state solution.”
In addition, the European Union EU described the Knesset decision as “counter-productive to de-escalation efforts” and “a clear step back” from a solution in occupied Palestine.
The Palestinian Authority also decried the Israeli announcement. “This is a rejected decision and it is contrary to all resolutions of international legitimacy,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said.
Under international law, settlement activities in occupied Palestine are illegal. However, about 700,000 Israeli settlers live currently in more than 200 settlements built on Palestinian lands.