Tue, 04 Dec 2012 06:06:55 GMT

US asks Israel to ''reconsider'' settlements decision



From Lalit K Jha
Washington, Dec 3 (PTI) The US today asked Israel to "reconsider" a decision to allow homes for Jewish settlers in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The White House said that the US is opposed to all unilateral actions as they complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations and risk prejudging the outcome of those negotiations.

"We reiterate our long- standing opposition to Israeli settlement activity and East Jerusalem construction.

"We oppose all unilateral actions, including settlement activity and housing construction, as they complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations and risk prejudging the outcome of those negotiations, and this includes building in the so-called E1 area," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

The Obama Administration has made clear to the Israeli government that such action is contrary to US policy, opposing unilateral action, including settlement activity and housing construction in East Jerusalem, he said.

"We in the international community expect all parties to play a constructive role in efforts to achieve peace. We urge Israeli leaders to reconsider these unilateral decisions and to exercise restraint as these actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations to achieve a two-state solution," Carney said.

Israel''s announcement about the 3,000 Jewish settler homes, whose planned location was not revealed, came in the wake of a historic vote by the United Nations General Assembly to upgrade Palestine''s diplomatic status.

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