Obama’s Administration Vows Harsher Action against Israeli Settlement Construction, says Haaretz

TEL AVIV, December 4, 2014 (WAFA) – The U.S. administration is mulling harsher action against Israel’s continuing settlement activities in Occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz.

It said a ‘classified meeting’ which gathered Israeli officials and White House officials a few weeks ago examined the possibility of taking harsher policies against unswerving settlement expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Last October, the U.S. administration said that further construction in East Jerusalem would “poison the atmosphere” and distance Israel from even its closest allies.

“Continued construction calls into question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement,” U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a briefing on October 1st.

“We don’t recognize the legitimacy of settlements, we think it’s unproductive to moving forward toward a two-state solution, and those are all concerns that are worthy of expressing,’ Psaki said at an earlier time this year.

Under international law, Israel’s settlement construction and expansion in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegal, yet so far there have been no real steps on the ground by any international actors to compel Israel to abide by international law.

The Palestinians are seeking East Jerusalem as a capital of their future independent state despite nonstop Israeli settlement expansion in the city, an action believed by Palestinians to be imposing a status quo that shifts the city into a dominantly Jewish metropolitan area on the long run.