The Obama Administration on Monday harshly criticized Israel's approval for the construction of 600 new apartments in the large eastern Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev.
"We've relayed our strong concerns to the government of Israel, that this kind of activity, particularly as we try to relaunch meaningful negotiations is counter-productive and undermines trust between the parties," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
Crowley noted that the Palestinians will only return to the negotiating table if Israel meets their demand to halt all Jewish construction in the areas they claim, and strongly suggested that Washington expects Israel to comply with those demands.
Tens of thousands of Jews live in Pisgat Ze'ev, one of several large neighborhoods on the eastern side of Jerusalem that Israel insists will never be evacuated to make way for a new Arab capital.
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