Barbed wire rings the West Bank Jewish settlement of Beitar Ilit.
In a strong rebuke of Israeli policy, the White House has expressed “regret” over an announcement by Israel that it will expand its illegal settlements in Palestinian areas. Hundreds of new housing units are expected to be approved for construction in the West Bank in a move seen as placating the rightists in power.
The Washington Post:
The White House issued an unusual rebuke of Israel on Friday, expressing “regret” at the Israeli government’s announcement that it would expand settlements in Palestinian areas.
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.
Israeli media reported Friday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu soon will approve the construction of hundreds of new housing units in settlements, apparently an effort to placate members of his right-leaning Likud party before he officially reaches a deal with the Obama administration to freeze settlement activity for six to nine months in order lay the groundwork for new peace talks.