US defends harshness, timing, of Jerusalem housing rebuke

WASHINGTON – Israel remains a key strategic partner of the United States, the State Department said on Thursday, despite the Obama administration's grave disappointment in Israel's continued settlement activity, and American fears that such action will ultimately cause rifts between Israel and its "closest allies."
"We're talking about what we've already seen to be the response of the international community to ongoing activities such as these," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "It was responsive to actions that were happening on the ground."
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