The Obama administration has expressed regrets over Israel’s decision to accelerate settlement construction in East Jerusalem, stating that it has never condoned Israeli settlement activity.
According to spokesperson Jen Psaki, the US State Department does “not consider continued settlement activity or East Jerusalem construction to be steps that create a positive environment for the negotiations.”
“At no time in the course of pursuing negotiations toward a two-state solution have we condoned settlement activity or east Jerusalem construction,” she added.
According to the spokesperson, “The talks are continuing, and both sides remain committed to the nine-month time frame” that was set by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
An Israeli official told Agence France Presse that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar have approved four new building projects in occupied East Jerusalem.