The United States expressed on Tuesday disappointment by the Israeli government’s approval of 1,100 settlement units calling this measure as “counterproductive”.
“We are deeply disappointed by this morning’s announcement by the government of Israel approving the construction of 1,001 housing units in East Jerusalem. We consider this counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties”, said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland in a press briefing. “We have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including in Jerusalem, and will continue to work with the parties to try to resume direct negotiations”, she added.
The Israeli government advanced today plans to build 1,100 settlement units in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Nuland noted that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “believes that the best the only way to get to two states living side by side in peace, in security, is through direct negotiations”.
“We will continue to try to use the days and weeks ahead to get there, and we are urging both parties to take advantage of the proposal that the Quartet put forward last Friday to come back to the table”, she added.
After noting that this construction project has been “on the books since 2009”, Nuland concluded by calling for “restraint with regard to provocative actions by both sides”.