Blinken Condemns Israel’s ‘Unacceptable’ Plans for New Homes in Yehudah and Shomron

YERUSHALAYIM -
Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R.) meets with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, June 3, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a tense phone call on Tuesday about Israel’s plans to build a few thousand new homes in Yehudah and Shomron, according to the Walla! news site.

The report, which cited three Israeli officials familiar with the call, said that Blinken phoned Gantz and told him the construction plans are “unacceptable,” citing both the number of housing units set to be approved and their locations in Yehudah and Shomron.

Blinken, who is the most senior Biden administration official to protest the Israeli plans, reportedly asked Gantz to consider the American opinion on Yehudah and Shomron in the future.

Gantz responded that he tried to reduce the number of units as much as possible and said he understood the U.S. sensitivities on the matter and would take them into account, according to the report.

Gantz is said to have also highlighted plans to approve 1,300 new Palestinian homes and griped that he has taken flak for meeting with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and approved Arab family reunifications.