Israel is set to advance plans for the construction of 4,000 illegal settler homes in the occupied West Bank, the interior minister has said.
Interior minister Ayelet Shaked, a staunch supporter of settlements, wrote in a Tweet on Friday that a planning committee would convene next week to approve 4,000 homes, calling construction in the West Bank a “basic, required and obvious thing”.
A State Department spokesperson criticized Israeli plans to expand the illegal segregated settlements in the occupied West Bank, saying: “The Biden administration has been clear from the outset. We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements which exacerbates tensions and undermines trust between the parties.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the Biden administration to withhold aid to Israel following the announcement.
“Although we welcome the Biden administration’s continued opposition to Israeli settlements, the administration must do more than issue vague statements," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
"Secretary Blinken must clearly condemn these acts of ethnic cleansing and take concrete action to stop them. We call on the Biden administration to withhold aid to Israel as it has done with other human rights abusers in the region."
Last year, CAIR called on Congress to support “Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” H.R. 2590, following the release of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report accusing the Israeli government of committing crimes of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians.
"Naftali Bennett’s government cannot keep using the specter of Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to scare the Biden administration into inaction," added Awad. "America must stand up for human rights, regardless of who leads the Israeli government.”