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
U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton met with coal and steel workers in the Appalachian region on Monday in an effort to win over blue-collar voters in a part of the country with strong support for Republican Donald Trump. Read
- Solar-powered plane departs California on round-the-world flight
- Kerry aims to extend truce to Syria's Aleppo as ceasefire unravels
- Bombs in Baghdad kill 14, including some Shi'ite pilgrims
- U.S. tells Pakistan it will have to fund F-16s itself
- U.S. says Iraq's PM in 'strong position' amid political unrest