Reports that the Obama administration is considering sanctions against Israel are "unfounded and completely without merit," the State Department said on Monday.
"Its simply not something that's being considered," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.Psaki's colleague, State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf, had been asked a similar line of questioning last week, after conservative Washington media reported the White House was considering sanctions against Israel for its continued settlement activity. Harf initially declined to discuss internal deliberations.
The Obama administration has repeatedly criticized the government of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu for green-lighting settlement construction, resulting in a series of public spats in recent months. The White House says that the policy runs counter to Israel's "stated commitment to peace."