Tags: Israel | Palestinians | conflict | settler

US Warns Israel New Settler Plans 'Exacerbate' Tensions

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 05:53 PM

The United States Wednesday sharply condemned Israeli plans to build 200 new settler homes in Arab east Jerusalem warning such moves would only "exacerbate" spiraling tensions in the city.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also denounced the torching of a West Bank mosque blamed on suspected Jewish extremists calling it a "hateful and provocative" act and urging officials to investigate.

An Israeli committee on Wednesday approved plans to build 200 homes in Ramo, a neighborhood of annexed east Jerusalem, in the latest in a slew of recent announcements of new settler homes.

"We are deeply concerned by this decision, particularly given the tense situation in Jerusalem, as well as the unequivocal and unanimous position of the United States and others in the international community opposing such construction in east Jerusalem," Psaki told reporters.

"These decisions to expand construction have the potential to exacerbate this difficult situation on the ground, and they will not contribute to efforts to reduce the tension."

The announcement came just ahead of the arrival of Secretary of State John Kerry in Jordan where he was to meet Jordanian King Abdullah II to discuss the flare-up in tensions over a private dinner.

Settlement announcements "fly in the face of the stated goal of achieving a two-state solution because it predetermines or pre-decides where construction should be," Psaki insisted.

She also blasted an arson attack on a mosque in the Palestinian village of Haughay on the West Bank which Palestinian security officials blamed on extremist Jewish settlers.

"The United States condemns the attack against a mosque in the West Bank. We believe that such hateful and provocative actions against a place of worship are never justified," Psaki said.

And she urged "law enforcement officials to quickly investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators."

"We encourage the local authorities to work together with the community to reduce tension, to defend religious freedom and to work against incitement," Psaki added.

 

© AFP 2019

   
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The United States Wednesday sharply condemned Israeli plans to build 200 new settler homes in Arab east Jerusalem warning such moves would only exacerbate spiraling tensions in the city.State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also denounced the torching of a West Bank...
Israel, Palestinians, conflict, settler
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2014-53-12
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 05:53 PM
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