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U.S. Slams Israeli Settlement Expansion

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that Israel’s decision to build 1,100 homes in Jerusalem’s contested Gilo neighborhood, which lies beyond the Green Line, is counter-productive to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians.

“We believe that this morning’s announcement by the government of Israel approving the construction of (1,100) housing units in East Jerusalem is counter-productive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties,” Clinton told reporters at a news conference.

“As you know, we have long urged both sides to avoid any kind of action which could undermine trust, including, and perhaps most particularly, in Jerusalem, any action that could be viewed as provocative by either side,” she added.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also expressed disappointment with Israel’s new plan to build homes in Gilo, saying they “should be reversed” since it undermines peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Ashton told the EU parliament that she heard “with deep regret” that Israeli plans to build homes beyond the Green Line were continuing.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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