Skip To Content
Breaking News

U.S Slams Settler Housing in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem planning committee approved the construction of nearly 200 housing units in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood, spurring criticism from the U.S. State Department.

Asked about Wednesday’s approval of the 181 homes in Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb with a population of 40,000, a State Department spokesman condemned it as “corrosive to the cause of peace” and said it was a “steady and systemic acceleration of Israeli settlement activity.”

The housing units, which are located beyond Israel’s 1967 borders, or the Green Line, were approved initially in 2012 — among hundreds of housing units permitted in Gilo in recent years. Wednesday’s approval was to iron out the “technical details” of building permits, according to reports.

The State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said the U.S. was “deeply concerned” by the reports of the new housing and five community center infrastructure projects in Gilo.

“Our policy on settlements, as I said before, is very clear. We strongly oppose settlement activity, which we believe is corrosive to the cause of peace,” Kirby told reporters at a briefing.

“These decisions by Israeli authorities are just the latest examples of what appear to be a steady and systemic acceleration of Israeli settlement activity. These actions risk entrenching a one-state reality and raise serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.”

Asked if there was any practical impact to U.S. objection to the plans, Kirby retreated, saying the administration is having “internal discussions” on the issue that he could not disclose.

“What I would just say is right now we are focused on encouraging all sides to demonstrate with policies and actions a genuine commitment to a two-state solution,” he said. “I think I’ll leave it at that.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.