SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- US Vice President Joe Biden has criticized Israel for expanding its settlement projects in the occupied territories and destroying the Palestinians’ homes.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum in Washington, Biden called the demolition of homes “collective punishment.”
He urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop “vigilante justice” attacks against Palestinians.
The vice president also warned that Tel Aviv’s policies risked further tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
On Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to comment if the Obama administration was considering sanctions against Israel for ongoing settlement projects.
“I’m not going to talk about any internal deliberations,” Earnest said.
Biden said his country and Israel have “tactical disagreements,” but Washington remained fully dedicated to support Tel Aviv.
“There was no daylight between us when it comes to Israel’s security,” he said.
He added that the Obama administration had provided Israel with more than $17 billion in military aid since 2008.
In November, the US Department of Defense announced plans to arm Israel with 3,000 smart bombs as part of Washington’s military aid to Tel Aviv.
The United States provides Israel with some $8.5 million in military aid per day, adding up to over $3 billion annually.
Earlier this week, lawmakers in Congress passed a bill to deepen Washington’s bonds with Tel Aviv.
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously approved the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, which reflects “the sense of Congress that Israel is a major strategic partner of the United States,” and declares Washington’s “unwavering support” for Israel.
The legislation passed the Senate unanimously in September and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.