US Vice President Joe Biden has criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his regime’s illegal settlement activities in the Palestinian occupied territories, saying Netanyahu is moving Israel in “wrong direction.”
In a speech to the Israel advocacy group J Street on Monday, Biden called the settlements an obstacle to a two-state solution, and denounced Israeli moves under Netanyahu as “counterproductive” to the Tel Aviv regime’s security.
“Settlement policies are hurting support for Israel and moving us further away from a two-state solution,” Biden said.
“I firmly believe that the action Israel’s government has taken over the past several years – the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures – they’re moving us, and more important, they’re moving Israel, in the wrong direction,” Biden said.
“They’re moving us toward a one-state reality, and that reality is dangerous,” he continued.
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlement colonies built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.
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