Israel informed the Biden administration that it will limit the approval of new West Bank settlements, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declared on Monday. This includes not authorizing any additional wildcat outposts beyond the nine that have already been approved earlier this month. Nevertheless, thousands of additional settlement homes in existing settlements are expected to be approved.
The United Nations Security Council was set to vote on a resolution that would have condemned Israel for settlement expansion and asked for a halt in any future activity. The Biden administration was able to prevent the vote by getting both Israel and the Palestinians to agree to a six-month freeze on any unilateral action.
The Security Council eventually passed a diluted version of the statement. Netanyahu’s office also said it will continue to demolish illegally built Palestinian homes in the parts of the West Bank under full Israeli control. Palestinians living in these areas maintain that it is almost impossible to obtain a building permit from Israeli authorities.
The United States and many other countries view the settlements as an impediment to peace, as they are taking over land the Palestinians want for their state. Over 700,000 Jewish Israelis now live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which were seized in the 1967 Middle East war.