U.S. deeply troubled by Israeli settlement plans

WASHINGTON Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:36pm EDT

Construction vehicles prepare the ground as building of a housing project resumes in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel September 27, 2010. REUTERS/Nir Elias

Construction vehicles prepare the ground as building of a housing project resumes in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel September 27, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it found reports of new Israeli settlement building plans deeply troubling and counterproductive to the U.S. effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Israel announced on Monday approval for building 277 homes in a West Bank settlement, despite U.S. and international pressure to curb expansion on occupied land and as Palestinians prepare for a statehood bid at the United Nations.

"We have seen reports of this approval for apartments in the West Bank. We consider it deeply troubling," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

"These kinds of actions are counterproductive to the resumption of direct negotiations. We have raised this issue with the Israeli government. We will continue to make our position known."

U.S.-brokered peace talks have been frozen since the Palestinians walked out in September over Israeli settlement building.

"We remain committed to getting these parties back to the table," Nuland said. "What we need to do is end the cycle here of this movement going in the wrong direction and get folks back to the table and get positive steps on both sides toward that goal."

(Editing by Eric Beech)

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Comments (3)
cocostar wrote:
This is a total waste of American tax dollars and time. Its the same old song and dance every time. The Israeli government will never let the Palistinians organize a government or any means of stability in the region. If the American people had any control over their government we wouldn’t be involved. However, they have none and only think they have some. Special interest greed, foreign influence and the military industrial complex have designated the fate of the U.S. and the world. And its not good!

Aug 15, 2011 6:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DrJJJJ wrote:
Israel is not the problem-their neighbors are FYI!

Aug 15, 2011 6:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KimoLee wrote:
DrJJJJJ: You are entitled to your opinion, as are others. This American disagrees with you. All my life Israel has been an issue and the U.S. their supporter, but nothing is ever resolved. Time for you and others to consider the costs to Americans. Frankly, I think we have paid more than enough.

Aug 15, 2011 8:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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