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US to seek Israeli clarification of East Jerusalem settlement expansion

Feb. 14, 2008 9:22 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 14, 2008 9:22 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - US State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said on Wednesday that the American administration will demand explanations from the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office on a massive new settlement project in Jerusalem.

McCormack said that the United States does not doubt the Israeli Prime Minister and Palestinian president's commitment to achieving peace.

However, he pointed out that the Israeli announcement of the settlement project will have negative influence on the ongoing negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis and might impede the two-state solution.

"Both sides realize that reaching an agreement is a mutual interest, and for our part, we will do our best to help them and recruit international support for them," McCormack added.

Israeli Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim announced on Tuesday that Israel plans to build 1000 additional housing units in illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

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