The 98 housing units approved in Shilo do not constitute a “new settlement," according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which responded to harsh US criticism of new settlement housing plans for Shiloh on Wednesday evening. "This housing will be built on state land in the existing settlement of Shilo and will not change its municipal boundary or geographic footprint. The units are intended to provide a housing solution for the residents of Amona who must leave their homes in accordance with the demolition order issued by Israel's High Court of Justice," the MFA clarified. The White House and State Department had slammed the plans and said it called into question Israel's intentions towards reaching a two-state solution, which the MFA refuted."Israel remains committed to a solution of two states for two peoples, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state of Israel. The real obstacle to peace is not the settlements – a final status issue that can and must be resolved in negotiations between the parties - but the persistent Palestinian rejection of a Jewish state in any boundaries," the Israeli statement concluded.