The Biden administration raised “serious concerns” about Israel’s plans to evict Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem to make way for new Jewish settlements, Reuters reports.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the concerns during a call with Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and "encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations."
The statement comes after Israeli police clashed with Palestinians in East Jerusalem amid protests against the planned evictions.
"Mr. Sullivan also reiterated the United States’ serious concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood," the White House statement said.
The statement added that the two also "agreed that the launching of rocket attacks and incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel is unacceptable and must be condemned.”
Israel pushes back on Biden:
Israeli officials told Axios that its government officials have argued behind the scenes that the Biden administration should say out of its business.
The rumblings come after the Trump administration overwhelmingly backed the Israeli government’s expansion in violation of national and international law.
About 300 Palestinians were injured in clashes with police, including 153 that were hospitalized.
But the White House is “not interested in spending much political capital or time on the issue,” according to Axios.
Israel tries to de-escalate after raising tensions:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces corruption charges, issued a last-minute order on Monday barring ultranationalist Jews from marching through Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem’s Old City for Jerusalem Day. Organizers of the flag parade ultimately canceled the event but marchers still went through with it.
The move came after Hamas demanded Israel remove its forces and fired several rockets into Jerusalem. No casualties were reported.
The clashes came after the Israel Supreme Court approved the eviction of six Palestinian families as part of a larger effort to resettle Israelis on land long held by Palestinians.