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On Palestinian issue, Biden asks Lapid not to surprise US with settlement building

New homes under construction in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, November 2015 (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)
New homes under construction in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, November 2015 (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

During their Jerusalem meeting, US President Joe Biden tells Prime Minister Yair Lapid that Washington does not want to be surprised by any Israeli announcements about building settlements.

Biden tells Lapid that while he won’t press him too hard on matters relating to the Palestinian conflict, he did not want there to be unexpected announcements.

During an official visit to Israel by Biden in 2010, while serving as US vice president, the Interior Ministry announced that 1,600 housing units would be built in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Biden fumed at the time, saying in a statement that it “undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.”

The construction project, which later gained the epithet “the Biden Plan,” was eventually put on hold, although anti-settlement groups claimed that paperwork for the plan was continually advanced in the following years.

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