The United States on Monday reiterated its disapproval over Israel’s plans to build new settlements in disputed areas of eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying the expansion would jeopardize the possibility of a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We have made clear to the Israeli government that such action is contrary to US policy,” US State Department spokesman Mark C. Toner said in a statement. “The United States and the international community expect all parties to play a constructive role in efforts to achieve peace.”
Israel announced Friday that it plans to build 3,000 homes in the contentious regions, including the eastern part of Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as a future capital of their own state.
Toner said the United States “opposes all unilateral actions” and that Israel’s plans “complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations, and risk prejudging the outcome of those negotiations.”
Israel’s announcement came one day after the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to grant Palestinians limited recognition of statehood.
The State Department on Monday urged both Israel and Palestinians to “take concrete steps to return to direct negotiations so all the issues can be discussed” and a peaceful two-state solution can be reached.