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Washington reprimands Israel over settlement construction

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said on Thursday that the expansion of Israeli settlements is responsible for creating some of the recent tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and is stalling the peace talks mediated by the US.

In a speech to a Washington think tank, she affirmed that while the US remains committed to its role in brokering peace in the Middle East, she also stressed that it considers Jewish settlement construction plans to be hampering these efforts.

According to Reuters, Rice stated that: "We have seen increased tensions on the ground. Some of this is a result of recent settlement announcements. So let me reiterate: The US does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity."

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