US Condemns Ariel Construction

US Condemns Ariel Construction

Associated Press, Ynet 

15.8.2011
 
EXCERPT
 
The Interior Ministry's Planning and Construction Committee has approved the building of 277 new housing units in Ariel, defying international criticism of continued construction on land the Palestinians claim for a state.
 
"We think unilateral actions by both sides, Israeli or Palestinian, are not helpful to the process to try to get both parties back to the table," US Embassy spokesman Kurt Hoyer said. In Washington, the State Department called the new Israeli building "deeply troubling."
 
"These kinds of actions are counterproductive to the resumption of direct negotiations" between the Israelis and Palestinians, said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
 
Palestinian Authority Spokesperson Ghassan Khatib called the recent building announcements an "escalation" and called on the international community to pressure Israel harder.
 
Palestinians oppose Israeli construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem – lands they want for the core of a future independent state – and have suspended talks with Israel as a result.
 
The latest construction approval could further complicate American attempts to persuade the Palestinians to give up their UN statehood bid in eptember and enter negotiations with Israel instead.