WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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
Tens of thousands of people braved heavy rain and lined the streets of Singapore on Sunday to catch a last glimpse of founding PM Lee Kuan Yew as his funeral procession wound through the country he helped build. Full Article
- Diplomats and U.N. staff flee Yemen as Houthis target Aden
- Pakistan sends 747 jumbo jets to evacuate distraught nationals from Yemen
- Iran, powers struggle to overcome disputes in push for nuclear deal
- Tunisian forces kill nine militants in south before solidarity march
- Libya tells Arab summit arms embargo must be lifted to fight IS
Insight - Modi's popularity in rural India punctured by discontent, suicides Full Article