U.S. condemns Israel's settlement construction in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM: The United States on Wednesday condemned the recent approval for a settlement construction in East Jerusalem and said that these actions are against peace efforts.

According to the Haaretz newspaper, a U.S. State Department official said that "the unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations and contradict the logic of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties on the status of Jerusalem."

On Monday, the Jerusalem Municipal Committee for Planning and Building approved a plan for the construction of Jewish housing in the Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

As consequence, a number of Palestinian families living on the site will be evicted. The committee approved the plan from private developers for the construction of two buildings that will have 13 apartments combined.

"No Palestinians have yet been evicted in connection with this project, but as envisioned the project would involve the eviction of two Arab families and the demolition of their homes," the U.S. official said.

The Palestinian Authority expressed its anger after the decision and claimed that the move was another example of the continuing policy of ethnic cleansing and remarked that it will further harm the peace negotiations.

Palestine demanded a stop to settlement construction in the disputed East Jerusalem as a key element for continuing peace talks with Israel. However, the Jewish country continued construction despite the condemnation from the international community, including the U.S.

The official remarked that the U.S. will continue working with both sides in order to resolve the core issues, including Jerusalem, in the context of a peace agreement.


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