Joining European countries, the Biden administration strongly condemned Israel’s legalization of 9 “outposts” in Judea and Samaria the other day.
While attacking Israel’s “settlement” project is nothing new for the US or Europe, there was something about the tone and swiftness of the Biden administration’s pushback against Israel’s legalization of these 9 “outposts.”
The fact is, this was the most massive retroactive legalization of what is known as young settlements since 1967. The legalization of these communities creates legal contiguity between many official communities in areas such as Har Hevron. Once a community is recognized, it receives the ability to apply for building permits, official boundaries, and budgets.
The US understands that this is part of a larger process in essentially applying Israeli law to Area C in Judea and Samaria. This is the area of land that is civilly and militarily controlled by Israel. Despite this, it remains highly under developed and subsumed within military rules and regulations.
Behind the scenes, the coalition is supposed to end this and apply Israeli law to the entirety of Area C. The legalization of these communities is a hint they mean business. The Biden administration knows their ability to hold back the government in Jerusalem is weakening and is searching for anything to use as leverage. With the Ukraine-Russia war raging and the threat from China and Iran growing – the US can ill afford to lose another ally in the Middle East.