White House criticizes Netanyahu plan for West Bank construction

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's plan to approve hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements before considering a temporary freeze in construction, drew harsh criticism from Washington on Friday, which has called for a total halt. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs reacted strongly, with a bluntly worded statement condemning the move. "We regret the reports of Israel's plans to approve additional settlement construction," it said. The statement went on to say that "as the president has said before, the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop."