Israel’s settlement plans ‘concern’ State Dept.


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration expressed "deep concern" about new settlement building plans announced by Israel in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack.

"The United States is deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions with respect to settlements in the West Bank," State Department spokeswoman Tanya Powell said in a statement. "Continued Israeli settlements are illegitimate and run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the building of 500 new units in several West Bank towns, most believed to be part of Israel in a peace settlement, in the wake of the March 11 attack in which three children and their parents were stabbed to death in the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

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