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US repeats opposition to new Israeli settlements
Published Monday 03/12/2012 (updated) 04/12/2012 21:42
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A view of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim is seen
near Jerusalem Dec. 3. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States urged Israel on Monday to reconsider its plan to erect 3,000 more homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, saying the move was counterproductive to peace efforts with the Palestinians.

Angered by the UN General Assembly's upgrading on Thursday of the Palestinians' status in the world body from "observer entity" to "non-member state," Israel said the next day it would build the new dwellings for settlers.

"We urge Israeli leaders to reconsider these unilateral decisions and exercise restraint as these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations to achieve a two state solution," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a briefing.

"We reiterate our long-standing opposition to Israeli settlement activity and East Jerusalem construction," he said.

The State Department also said the building could damage efforts to achieve a two-state solution.

"The United States opposes all unilateral actions, including West Bank settlement activity and housing construction in East Jerusalem, as they complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

"This includes building in the E-1 area as this area is particularly sensitive and construction there would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution."

Israel indicated in Monday it had no plan to backtrack on a settlement expansion plan that has drawn strong international condemnation and includes "preliminary zoning and planning work" for settler housing in the so-called "E1" zone east of Jerusalem.

"We have made clear to the Israeli government that such action is contrary to US policy," Toner said in his statement, which urged both Israel and the Palestinians to cease unilateral actions and take steps to return to direct negotiations.

Israel announced plans to build 3,000 more homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Friday, a day after the UN General Assembly granted de facto recognition to Palestine over Israeli and US objections.
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1 ) Paul / USA
03/12/2012 23:41
Settlement building NO LONGER THE ISSUE!!! DO NOT FALL FOR THIS DECEPTION!!! There is a difference now. If my neighbor insists on building on my land, let him. In the long run it will be my property. Thank you neighbor!!! With recognition as State to greenline by UN, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!!! Go to UN to put NATO troops into action & oust invaders. Retake your possessions. Be calm but take LEGAL ACTION with NATO support. US will not turn on Israel openly but can back NATO. Use wisdom Pals!!!

2 ) gabi / australia
04/12/2012 01:03
US = we have made it clear to the Israeli government that such action is contrary to US policy." And . . . . . ? And nothing, which is why Israel keeps defying world opinion, and thus digs itself deeper and deeper into a pariah pit. But they just don't care - so long as they get what they want, which is all of Palestine. The Likud charter calls for this, and this is what guides Netanyahu.

3 ) nwabu / nigeria
10/12/2012 09:30
i urge Israel to go on with settle plan, the land eternally yours. God of heaven is with you.
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