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This is Israel’s “settlement expansion” in real time.


Last Sunday, the Israeli Cabinet gave Bezalel Smotrich singular and expedited authority to approve and hasten 4,500 new units of (illegal) settlement expansion. You may remember Smotrich, Israel’s finance minister, from his public call to “wipe out” the Palestinian town of Huwara.

Giving Smotrich unilateral powers to massively expand settlements left the Biden administration “deeply troubled,” according to a statement.

The very next day, the Israeli military murdered six Palestinians in an attack that included airstrikes from U.S.-made Apache helicopters. It was the first time in nearly twenty years such advanced weaponry was used in the West Bank. During the attack, the Israeli military deliberately fired on Palestinian ambulances, and trapped and fired at several Palestinian journalists. At least one Palestinian teenager was killed.

The timing is no coincidence. This is “settlement expansion” in real time.

Settlement expansion is a key way the Israeli government steals Palestinian land and kills, ethnically cleanses, and colonizes the Palestinians living there. Israeli settlers and the military “expand” settlements by carrying out raids in homes and towns, developing settler-only roads, demolishing homes and schools, and otherwise terrorizing Palestinians in an effort to expel them from their land.

While the Israeli government gives far-right extremist Smotrich unprecedented input and approval powers over settlement expansion, they’re greenlighting horrific attacks like the one on Jenin.

This is Zionism in action: the Israeli military laying siege to a Palestinian city, murdering and terrorizing residents, with the goal of ethnically cleansing them out of their homes to make room for even more settlements — and more destruction of Palestinian life.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s statements about being “deeply troubled” ring hollow without any calls for accountability, or acknowledgment that U.S. funding helps put the weapons of “expansion” in the Israeli military’s hands.

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