TEL AVIV, Israel: The US ambassador to Israel says Washington is “concerned and perplexed” over Israel’s strategy of building West Bank settlements.

Daniel Shapiro says that Israel’s stated support for the establishment of a Palestinian state becomes increasingly difficult with its expansion of settlements.  Shapiro says building settlements raises questions about Israel’s intentions. He says that as Israel’s closest friend, it is the United States’ role to point that out.  He spoke Monday at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, a top Israeli think tank.


The international community considers the settlements, built on lands Israel captured in the 1967 war and claimed by the Palestinians, illegal or illegitimate.  Shapiro also noted that Israel had legalized some West Bank outposts despite pledges to the United States not to do so.  Meanwhile, a man broke into a West Bank settlement home and fatally stabbed an Israeli woman before fleeing Sunday, touching off a massive night manhunt, the Israeli military said.

The attack occurred hours after another Palestinian was shot dead by soldiers after trying to attack them with a knife, it said.  In the later attack, the man slipped into the Otniel settlement, broke into the woman’s home and killed her before fleeing the scene, the military said.  Israeli police identified the slain woman as Dafna Meir and said she was a mother of six in her late 30s.

On Monday, an attacker stabbed and wounded a pregnant Israeli woman in the West Bank on Monday before being shot, Israeli officials said.
The attacker entered the Tekoa settlement and stabbed the 30-year-old woman, the Israeli military said, before being shot by the settlement’s head of security.

Shoham Ruvio, a spokeswoman for Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek hospital, said the woman was five-months pregnant. She said the woman was moderately wounded after being stabbed in the upper body and that there was no damage caused to the fetus.

Source: Arab News