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Blinken ‘disappointed’ by Israeli plans to extend settlement building

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has criticized Israeli government’s plans to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank amid the backdrop of the Gaza war.

“Our administration maintains a firm opposition to settlement expansion, and in our judgment this only weakens and doesn’t strengthen Israel’s security,” Blinken told reporters in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires.

Blinken added that he was “disappointed” and made the rare remark from a US diplomat that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law.

Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich wants to press ahead with the construction of more than 3,000 new homes in the occupied West Bank.

The Times of Israel newspaper reported on Friday that the committee responsible for authorizing the construction of settler homes will meet shortly to make a decision.

Antony Blinken (R), US Secretary of State, speaks next to Diana Mondino, Foreign Minister of Argentina, during a press conference at the Casa Rosada presidential palace. Fernando Gens/dpa

Antony Blinken (R), US Secretary of State, speaks next to Diana Mondino, Foreign Minister of Argentina, during a press conference at the Casa Rosada presidential palace. Fernando Gens/dpa

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, speaks during a press conference at the Casa Rosada presidential palace. Fernando Gens/dpa

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, speaks during a press conference at the Casa Rosada presidential palace. Fernando Gens/dpa

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