US ‘Seriously Concerned’ Over New Construction In Israel

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ariel-israel-settlementThe United States said today that it had expressed “serious concerns” over Israel’s decision to issue tenders for 1,000 new housing units in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, in the face of anger from Palestinian negotiators.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu today slammed the EU’s stance on Jewish settlements in the West Bank, saying they would hamper peace talks with the Palestinians.

“I think Europe, the European guidelines by the EU, have actually undermined peace,” Netanyahu said during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

The guidelines “have hardened Palestinian positions,” Netanyahu said. “They seek an unrealistic end that everybody knows is not going to happen, and I think they stand in the way of reaching a solution which will only be reached by negotiations by the parties, and not by an external dictate.”

Israel approved the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners before talks begin, but on Sunday also gave the green light for more than 1,000 new settler homes to be built in the West Bank and in the annexed east Jerusalem, a decision that infuriated Palestinians and also irked the US.

“We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” Deputy State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said today  after it was reported that Israel is planning to build the additional units. “These announcements come at a particularly sensitive time and we have raised our concerns with the government of Israel. We are moving forward with our plans. We have always said that this is going to be difficult and there are going to be bumps in the road,” Harf added, reiterating that special envoy Martin Indyk is holding meetings with both sides, which are still actively participating in talks.

In a possitive nod to Israel, Harf noted that the Israeli government is taking “a difficult and necessary step” in releasing Palestinian prisoners ahead of talks.

UN Chief A Spokesman for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also re-stated his long-standing opposition to continued settlement building.

“Settlements in the occupied territories are illegal, they have been and they continue to be illegal,” Eduardo del Buey said.

{AFP, Ynet, Israel}


  1. Dear “Concerned over New Construction U.S.”:

    As a Vietnam Veteran and an active Public Servant since returning, I would like to have a couple of words with those U.S. Leaders who are seriously concerned over new construction in Israel: The two words are “Shove it”!

    It is not the business of the United States, the EU or any other country to interfere with Israel’S internal affairs.

    Every country that the US has interfered with in the past has gotten screwed up.

    It’s time for the US to fix our own country. There’s a lot of infrastructure to repair and still build, there are homeless living on the streets, there are seniors eating out of trash cans because they can’t afford food, there are murders occurring on a daily basis all over the country because some liberal moron thinks that good people should not have guns only the bad people can have guns, What nut-cakes!, etc.

    We need to stop this political correctness now.


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