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Blinken discussed Israeli settlements with Israel's Gantz - U.S. official

WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed Israeli settlement plans in a phone call with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz after Israel advanced plans for a settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday.

The United States on Tuesday said it strongly opposed the Israeli settlement decision as damaging for peace prospects between Israelis and Palestinians, in the Biden administration’s harshest public criticism of Israeli settlement policy to date.

The call between Blinken and Gantz on Tuesday was first reported by the Axios news website, which cited Israeli officials as saying the chief U.S. diplomat voiced U.S. opposition to the settlement plan. They also discussed Sudan, where the military has seized power, the State Department official said on condition of anonymity. (Reporting Humeyra Pamuk and Simon Lewis, writing by Matt Spetalnick)

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