WASHINGTON The White House said on Friday a new Israeli settlement expansion plan was "counterproductive" and could make it harder to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
"We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlements and East Jerusalem construction and announcements," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
Israel plans to build thousands of new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, an Israeli official said earlier, defying a U.N. vote that implicitly recognized Palestinian statehood there.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative government had authorized the construction of 3,000 housing units.
"We believe these actions are counterproductive and make it arder resume direct negotiations or achieve of a two state solution," Vietor said. "Direct negotiations remain our goal and we encourage all parties to take steps to make that easier to achieve."
(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick)
Trending On Reuters
South Korea declared on Tuesday it is effectively out of danger from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), more than two months after the first case was reported and began spreading in hospital settings to kill 36 people. Full Article
- Obama meets Lucy, an ancient 'ancestor,' in Ethiopia
- Libyan city Benghazi plunges into darkness as fighting hits power plants
- Turkey, U.S. aim for zone cleared of Islamic State in northern Syria
- U.S. softens view of Malaysia, Cuba in human trafficking report
- Top officials from anti-ISIS coalition to meet in Canada - sources
Maruti Suzuki June-quarter profit jumps 56 percent; lower costs, higher sales. Full Article
Florida family finds $1 million in treasure from sunken Spanish armada. Full Article