European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday expressed "deep regret" over Israel's plan to build 797 housing units in the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo located across the Green Line.

According to a statement from her office, "settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible."

Ashton reiterated that talks "continue to represent the best way forward in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," and called on both parties to immediately return to the negotiating table.

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