Kerry urges parties 'not to react adversely' to settlement announcement

Israelis, Palestinians scheduled to resume talks this week.

August 12, 2013 23:59
Israeli, Palestinian delegations meet in Washington for iftar dinner, July 29, 2013.

Israelis, Palestinians meeting for resumption of talks 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

BOGOTA - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that Israel's announcements of new settlement units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem "were to some degree expected," and urged Israelis and Palestinians to move head with peace talks due to resume this week.

"What this underscores is the importance of getting to the table, getting to the table quickly" and resolving disputes over settlements and other issues, said Kerry. He added that he had spoken on Monday with Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni and had called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is recovering from surgery.

Israel's housing minister on Sunday approved plans for 1,200 new units in settlements in the West Bank and neighborhoods in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line.

"The United States of America views all of the settlements as illegitimate," said Kerry, who was on a visit to Colombia.

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