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US: Israeli settlements 'incompatible' with peace efforts

The US expressed deep concerns on Monday over Israel's announcement of a new wave of illegal settlements in occupied Jerusalem, while the EU condemned the move and Jordan's parliament said that this kind of aggression against the Palestinians in Jerusalem is akin to the terrorism of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Arabs 48 website reported.

During Monday's daily press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said that Washington is "deeply concerned" by the latest reports about Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem.

She said that American embassy officials were having high-level talks with Israeli leaders to seek more information on this matter.

"We continue to make our position absolutely clear that we view settlement activity as illegitimate and unequivocally oppose unilateral steps that prejudge the future of Jerusalem," Psaki said.

"Israel's leaders have said they would support a pathway to a two-state solution, but moving forward with this type of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace, and that is certainly a message that we are conveying directly," she added. However when pressed, she also admitted that the US would not be taking any kind of concrete action in response.

Meanwhile, Arabs48 reported that the EU condemned the move and called for the Israeli government to "immediately" cancel the decision to build new settlements in occupied Jerusalem.

EU Foreign Policy Spokesperson Maja Kocijancic stated that: "[Israel's order to build 1,060 new settlement units in East Jerusalem] will call once again into serious question Israel's commitment to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians."

In the same context, the head of Jordan's parliament, Atef Al-Tarawneh, described Israel's aggression against the Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem as "no less than ISIS actions".

"The repeated Israeli aggression against the Palestinians – the people, their holy sites and their lands – incites our anger despite the 20 years that have passed since signing a peace agreement," he said.

Al-Tarawneh then called for the international community to take action to stop Israel's "repeated aggressions" against the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem, including Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as to immediately stop its settlement expansion, and to demand for Israel to return to the negotiation table with the Palestinians.

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Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
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