State Department Rebukes Israel On Settlement Expansion

Last week, the Israeli interior ministry approved the construction of 900 new homes in the East Jerusalem settlement of Har Homa. A spokesperson for the Israeli group Peace Now said the move is significant because it “blocks the territorial contiguity between east Jerusalem and Bethlehem and adds a further barrier to the possibility of east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital in a two-state solution.” Today, the U.S. State Department objected to the planned settlement expansion, saying that it is “deeply concerned” about the project and that such “unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations” and the spirit of the peace process.