US slams new Israeli settlement construction planning

"We are deeply concerned by this latest report” that Israel is planning 20,000 settler homes in the West Bank, said State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki Tuesday. She was referring to long-term plans to issue tenders announced Tuesday by Housing Minister Uri Ariel, parts of which Prime Binyamin Netanyahu has meanwhile suspended. He commented: “Why pay an international price for an unsubstantiated process.”

The plan Netanyahu put back on ice was the small undeveloped West Bank area long under dispute with Washington known as E1, which links northeast Jerusalem to the town of Maale Adummim. The other projects are still in the planning stage too.

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