The US State Department strongly condemned, in a statement issued on Wednesday, Israelâ€™s continued settlement expansion in occupied Jerusalem.
State Department Spokesman John Kirby said, in the statement, that the United States was â€śdeeply concernedâ€ť by reports of the Israeli government opening tenders for 323 additional units in several Israeli settlements east of occupied Jerusalem.
He expressed, according to the PNN, his governmentâ€™s disapproval of plans to build an additional 770 units in the illegalÂ Israeli settlement of Gilo, which was announced Monday.
In the statement, Kirby said that the actions of the Israeli government, aimed at fast-tracking the resettlement of Israeli Jewish citizens into Â settlements on Palestinian territory, appeared to represent a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution:
â€śWe remain troubled that Israel continues this pattern of provocative and counterproductive action, which raises serious questions about Israelâ€™s ultimate commitment to a peaceful, negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.â€ť
Kirbyâ€™s statement has joined a long line of other nations, international organizations, and rights groups, including the European Union and United Nations, that have condemned Israelâ€™s policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, which have escalated to a concerning degree over the past several months.
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