Antony Blinken and Naftali Bennett also discussed Iran and the Omicron variant
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “strongly reaffirmed” US opposition to advancing housing construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, in a telephone interview with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
A. Blinken “said Israel and the Palestinian Authority should refrain from taking unilateral measures that exacerbate tensions and undermine efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution, including the promotion of settlement activities. State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
According to an Israeli official, Bennett told Blinken the project was only in the planning stages.
“As far as Atarot is concerned – the prime minister said it was a decision of a district committee which has not yet reached the threshold of the political level,” said the official.
The two leaders also discussed Iranian nuclear power, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Last week, the Israeli government announced that it was abandoning plans to build a new Jewish quarter in East Jerusalem, in the town of Atarot, before it was put back on the agenda.
The project provides for the construction of 9,000 housing units for ultra-Orthodox families.