Israel said on Wednesday that new houses it was building in the occupied West Bank did not constitute a new settlement, dismissing a strong U.S. condemnation of project.
“The 98 housing units approved in Shilo (settlement) do not constitute a ‘new settlement’. This housing will be built…in the existing settlement of Shilo and will not change its municipal boundary or geographical footprint,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.
The United States strongly condemned Israel’s plan and the State Department said it would damage prospects for a two-state solution.
(Writing by Ori Lewis, Editing by Angus MacSwan)
Related: U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. foreign policy is not having a great week —
United States Criticizes Israel Over West Bank Settlement Plan
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Wednesday castigated the Israeli government for approving plans to create a new Jewish settlement on the West Bank, three weeks after it signed a lucrative military aid package with the United States and just as President Obama was traveling to Jerusalem for the funeral of Shimon Peres.
In an uncommonly harsh statement, the State Department “strongly condemned” the move, asserting that it violated Israel’s pledge not to construct new settlements and ran counter to the long-term security interests Israel was seeking to protect with the military deal, which provides $38 billion in assistance over the next decade.
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