US Democrats urge Biden administration to 'pressure' Israel on settlements
Representative Mark Pocan and Representative Pramila Jayapal hold a news conference in the US Capitol Visitors Center in Washington, DC, US, on May 17, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

The lawmakers say the planned developments would threaten a future Palestinian state

On Monday, 26 Democratic lawmakers in the United States House of Representatives wrote to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asking the official to pressure Israel's government into halting developments on a planned settlement.

In a letter addressed to Blinken, published on the Twitter account of Wisconsin's Democratic Representative Mark Pocan, the legislators argued that the planned settlements would "diminish the viability of a contiguous Palestinian state, thereby also threatening the future of a negotiated two-state solution."

New construction of 3,400 houses is slated to occur in an area known as E-1, a section of the West Bank which connects Ramallah to Bethlehem.

The lawmakers say freezing construction in E-1 is essential for a future Palestinian state, because settlements in the area would sever the northern West Bank from its southern half.

"E-1 is a vital corridor for Palestinian communal life," the letter cautioned.

In their address to Blinken, the legislators referred to the planned developments as "doomsday settlements," because their construction would "doom" potential prospects of Palestinian statehood.

"To ensure the prospects of peace, we urge the State Department to exert diplomatic pressure to prevent settlement construction in E-1," the legislators wrote.

The lawmakers also asked for an update regarding the US State Department's actions on the matter by December 15 of this year.

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