The Straits Times
Published on Dec 01, 2012

US condemns Israeli settlement expansion


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House on Friday condemned Israel's decision to build 3,000 settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank as "counterproductive" and said it would make resuming peace talks harder.

Israel revealed the plans in response to a historic vote in the UN General Assembly Thursday to recognise Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member observer state.

"We reiterate our longstanding opposition to settlements and east Jerusalem construction and announcements. We believe these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution," said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

"Direct negotiations remain our goal and we encourage all parties to take steps to make that easier to achieve," Mr Vietor said.