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U.S. ‘Troubled’ by New Settlement Construction

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

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

Earlier on Monday, the Palestinian leadership sharply criticized Israel. Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for Abbas, told Reuters: “This act is condemned and is an Israeli attempt to obstruct and destroy what is left of any effort to revive the peace process.

“Once again, these Israeli settlement measures represent a strong reason calling on us to go to the United Nations and the Security Council to request membership for the State of Palestine and to halt these Israeli measures,” he said.

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