White House: Israeli settlement plan "counterproductive"
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)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Supreme Court turns the clock back with gay sex ban
- UPDATE 7-Ukrainian riot police withdraw after overnight move on demonstrators
- UPDATE 1-U.S. says Ukraine's "European future" can be saved - Nuland
- China bitcoin arbitrage ends as traders work around capital controls
- Google feeds India and China from data centres next door
U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a rare gesture between the leaders of two ideological opponents that reflected the anti-apartheid hero's spirit of reconciliation. Full Article | Video
Iran sees progress in talks with powers on nuclear deal implementation. Full Article