US repeats opposition to new Israeli settlements

WASHINGTON (Reuters) On Monday, the United States urged Israel to reconsider their new plans about further 3,000 settlement units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“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.

According to State Department spokesman Mark Toner: “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”. He added that the E-1 area is “particularly sensitive and construction there would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution.”

On Monday it was declared by Israel that it had no plan to backtrack on the settlement expansion plan that so far has drawn strong international condemnation. “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.

Source: Ma’an News Agency