US 'deeply troubled' by Israel's plans to advance 4000 new settlement units

The US State Department said it was "deeply troubled" by the move, and called on Israel to return to dialogue aimed at de-escalation.

"As has been longstanding policy, the United States opposes such unilateral actions that make a two-state solution more difficult to achieve and are an obstacle to peace," department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

The government on Sunday tabled plans to approve thousands of building permits in the West Bank, despite US pressure to halt settlement expansion that Washington sees as an obstacle to peace with Palestinians.

The plans for approval of 4,560 housing units in various areas of the West Bank were included on the agenda of Israel's Supreme Planning Council that meets next week, although only 1,332 are up for final approval, with the remainder still going through the preliminary clearance process.