US strongly opposes Israel’s settlement activity in East Jerusalem
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he United States is “deeply concerned” by reports that Israel has published tenders for 323 units in East Jerusalem settlements and “strongly” opposes the move, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.
“We strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
These steps by Israeli authorities are the latest examples of what appears to be a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is “systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution,” Kirby said.
” Israel occupied the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip territories, where 5 million Palestinians lived, during the 1967 Mideast War. The last round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ended in April 2014 with no results.
Since then, the peace process has been stalled due to deep differences over borders and continued Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank. By now, there have been no serious actions to resume the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he United States also expressed concerns about recent increased demolitions of Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which reportedly have left dozens of Palestinians homeless, including children.
More than 650 Palestinian structures have been demolished this year, with more Palestinian structures demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem thus far than in all of 2015, according to the U.S. State Department.
Kirby said the move is part of an ongoing process of land seizures, settlement expansion, legalizations of outposts, and denial of Palestinian development that risk entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict, citing a recent report by the Middle East Quartet, which comprises the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia.
” “We remain troubled that Israel continues this pattern of provocative and counterproductive action, which raises serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful, negotiated settlement with the Palestinians,” the spokesperson added.
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