Israel Advances 3,000 New Settler Homes in West Bank Despite US Pressure

Blinken reportedly told Israel's Gantz that the new settlement construction plans were 'unacceptable'

On Wednesday, Israel moved forward plans to build about 3,000 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank despite statements from the Biden administration against settlement expansion.

The Israeli Defense Ministry’s higher planning council that approves new settlements said 1,804 units were given the final approval for construction, and another 1,326 units were advanced to a stage of preliminary approval.

The move came a day after the Biden administration condemned Israel’s plans. “We are deeply concerned about the Israeli government’s plan to advance thousands of settlement units tomorrow, Wednesday, many of them deep in the West Bank,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm, and it damages the prospects for a two-state solution,” Price added.

According to a report from Axios, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on the phone with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday and said the planned settlement construction was “unacceptable.” Blinken was unhappy over the number of units being approved and the fact that they will be built deep in the West Bank.

The approval is the first major settlement expansion announced during Biden’s presidency. Israeli officials told Axios that they were surprised by how opposed the administration is to new settlements but also pointed out that the criticism is primarily coming from the State Department, and the White House has been quiet on the issue.

While the Biden administration claims it opposes the new settlements, it’s unlikely the US will take any action against the plans, and the slow de facto annexation of the West Bank through settlement expansion will continue.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.