A US State Department official on Tuesday expressed deep concern at renewed settlement construction announced this week in Jerusalem, calling the building "illegitimate" and saying it runs "counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations."
"We are also deeply concerned about the announcement of approval for up to 950 new units in Jerusalem," the official said. "We believe that through good-faith negotiations, the parties should mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both sides for Jerusalem and safeguards its status for people around the world."
"Ultimately, the lack of a resolution to this conflict harms Israel, harms the Palestinians, and harms the interests of the United States and the international community," the official added. "We will continue to press ahead with the parties to resolve the core issues in the context of a peace agreement."