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US 'deeply concerned' by settlement expansion

Aug. 9, 2011 9:26 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 10, 2011 9:30 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The US is concerned about Israel's approval of over 900 housing units in the illegal settlement of Har Homa, built on Palestinian land in Bethlehem, an official said Tuesday.

The US is "deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions with respect to housing construction in Jerusalem. We have raised this issue with the Israeli government," White House advisor Tommy Vietor said.

Israel considers Har Homa part of Jerusalem, which it considers its capital.

Vietor said "unilateral actions work against efforts to resume direct negotiations and contradict the logic of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties.

"We believe that through good faith direct negotiations, the parties should agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem, and safeguards its unique religious status," he said.

In February, the US vetoed a resolution at the UN Security Council condemning illegal Israeli settlement building.

It was Washington's first veto at the UN since President Barack Obama took office.

The US veto killed the resolution even though the 14 other members of the 15-nation council voted in favor.

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