America forced to change language because of a move by Israel?

America forced to change language because of a move by Israel?

Feb 29, 2024

Washington [US], February 29: According to sources familiar with the matter, Israel's plan to build thousands of additional homes in West Bank settlements announced last week was the final factor that forced the US to declare its ally's policies "zero in accordance" with international law .
Instead of implementing a carefully planned policy as is often the case in Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken unexpectedly answered a question at a press conference in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, Reuters reported today, February 29. .
"Longstanding U.S. policy under Republican and Democratic administrations has held that new settlements would be counterproductive to achieving a lasting peace ," Blinken told reporters. .
"That is also not consistent with international law," he added.
Sources told Reuters that the change in US policy had been brewing for a long time, but the final decision was made within just a few hours. This makes many people surprised and wonder why Washington chose this time to return to the stance it had maintained for four decades before being changed under President Donald Trump.
Sources said just 24 hours earlier, Mr. Blinken had no plans to make such an announcement at his scheduled press conference on February 23.
However, everything changed when Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said the government had agreed to a plan to approve about 3,300 new houses to be built in settlements. The decision was in response to a deadly gun attack by Palestinians in the West Bank, which Israel illegally controls.
"This is something the [US] administration has certainly been considering for a long time, and recent events make it clear that now is the time to make it clear," a US official said.
The change in policy brought the United States back to the position of most countries in the world , which considered settlements built on territory Israel won in the 1967 Middle East war to be illegal.
Since taking office in January 2021, US President Biden's administration has several times come close to restoring the stance held in the "pre-Donald Trump" era. However, this move was repeatedly pushed aside largely due to not receiving the necessary consensus, according to sources.
The decision to make the change now underscores the Biden administration's growing frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . Despite US pressure against retaking Gaza, Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel will maintain security in the densely populated region once the war ends.
Washington has repeatedly warned Israeli officials that settlement expansion is an obstacle to peace and that Israel must act to stop settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.
Recently, the US imposed sanctions on four Israeli men allegedly involved in settler violence, according to Al Jazeera.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also condemned Israel's settlement announcement last week, saying it undermined the chances of achieving a two-state solution.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper